Hull's Jake Connor geared up for Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington

Jake Connor of Hull
Jake Connor of Hull

Hull maverick Jake Connor is ready to do "something special" in Saturday's Coral Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington.

The 24-year-old England utility back is one of rugby league's entertainers, able to conjure up a match-winning play with a step off his right foot or a flick of his wrist, but is also prone to the occasion error.

As he prepares for a tilt at Wembley, the former Huddersfield player insists he will not hold back producing his box of tricks and certainly will not be overawed by the occasion.

"I love the pressure of big games," he said. "I don't really get nervous. I just love feeling that intensity of pressure situations where it's close and you come up with the clutch plays .

"Sometimes you need that in big games. They can pay off, sometimes they don't pay off, in the past they have paid off.

"I've learned from my mistakes but in big games like this you always want to do something special."

Connor is already a cup winner, having been on the bench when the Black and Whites beat Wigan in his first season with the club in 2017.

"It seems quite long ago," he said. "Obviously the first time there, you don't really take it in, it doesn't really sink in.

"If we get there again, it will be a chance to make some more memories and take it all in and enjoy it a bit more."

Ready to stand down

Connor's favourite position is stand-off but he looks set for a switch to centre to accommodate a fit-again Albert Kelly and he puts on a brave face about the move.

"Albert's a quality player and you want him in your team if he's fit," Connor said. "It's down to whatever the coach picks and you get on with it.

"In big games like this, you don't really care where you're playing, you just want to give your best."

Hull will go into the tie with confidence, having beaten Warrington in their last meeting, but Connor would rather have been paired with his home-town club Halifax, who take on St Helens in the other semi-final at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Best is yet to come

"I can't believe Saints got them," he said. "I've never played there but obviously I live there and it would have been nice to play against them.

"Warrington have turned us over a couple of times but the last time we played them we were on our game. That was probably the best I've seen our middles play this year.

"If you want to beat a team like Warrington, who have got good middles, that's what you've got to do, take control of their middles because it makes it easier to deal with the edges.

"We've been a bit inconsistent this year. People wrote us off at the start of the season, saying we'd finish eighth, ninth, 10th, but we're sat in third and in the semi-finals of the cup.

"And to me, still haven't got started. We haven't given our potential in any game so hopefully the best is yet to come."

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