Marc Sneyd: Hull FC 'back to where they belong' after second Challenge Cup win
Successive Challenge Cup triumphs at Wembley have restored Hull FC to rugby league's elite, says Lance Todd Trophy winner Marc Sneyd.
Sneyd's influence at half-back guided the Airlie Birds to victory over Wigan on Saturday, having done the same against Warrington in the 2016 final.
Last year's win against the Wolves secured Hull's first trophy since 2005.
"The club's huge, and to win this twice on the bounce puts Hull back probably where they should be," said Sneyd.
While Sneyd was key with his kicking and prompting in the win against the Warriors, he highlighted the impact made by the forwards such as Liam Watts, Gareth Ellis and Scott Taylor, as well as the all-round defensive effort.
Wigan threatened a late comeback victory, but Hull did enough to repel their threat.
"We've got a bit of everything in every department," Sneyd, 26, continued.
"It's an unbelievable group to be playing in. We were clinging on at the end, and we've got people who are willing to work hard for one another."
Securing the Lance Todd Trophy for a second time ensured Sneyd added his name to an exalted list of just six players who have twice been named man of the match in a Challenge Cup final.
Warrington's Gerry Helme (1950 and 1954) was the first, before Wigan pair Andy Gregory and Martin Offiah both did it twice during the club's glorious eight-year reign as Wembley winners in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
St Helens legend Sean Long went on to win it three times, while his Saints team-mate Paul Wellens did it back-to-back in 2007 and 2008, the first of those being shared with Leon Pryce.
But Sneyd is the first to achieve the award, which is voted for members of the Rugby League Writers Association, outright in successive years.
"Leon Pryce was actually the one who told me no-one had won it twice outright before," said Sneyd, who is in his third season with Hull.
"It's unbelievable when you see the names that are on the trophy. You can't quite believe that your name is on there. To be there twice - I'm over the moon with that."
Hull coach Lee Radford said Sneyd's personal achievement was "a phenomenal effort from a phenomenal player".
"Look at the impact he's had on our club since he walked through the door," continued Radford, who also said he believes Sneyd is the "most criticised half-back" that the club has ever had.
Former Castleford and Salford player Sneyd has previously spoken about online abuse he receives on social media following matches.
"I genuinely quite enjoy going home and seeing what they say about me on Twitter," said Sneyd. "It really doesn't bother me.
"You give them a little favourite and you imagine what they're like at home, while I'm there laughing my head off."
No complaints from Wigan coach Wane
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane praised Hull after the match, saying they deserved their 18-14 victory at Wembley.
The Warriors were on the wrong end of a contentious decision midway through the second half, when prop Tony Clubb had a try disallowed by the video referee.
Clubb was adjudged to have dropped the ball under pressure from a Hull tackler, although BBC Sport's pundits suggested the ball had been illegally dislodged from Clubb's grasp and the score should have been awarded.
Wane said: "I didn't understand that. He said Tony had just dropped it and I thought that was a poor call, but I don't want that to take away from what Hull have done. They deserved to win the game and I'm not saying we should have won the game.
"What we dished up in the second half wasn't good enough. Quite rightly, Hull were the winners.
"We needed to build pressure and we didn't do that in the second half - not enough to win a game of this magnitude."