Mark Minichiello believes Hull FC have proved they can compete with Super League’s top two this season.

Now the veteran Aussie has called on his side to maintain the standards set in beating Warrington Wolves to underline their trophy credentials for the season.

Hull put their two most recent one-sided defeats to the Wolves behind them in resilient style with a commanding defensive performance in a 19-12 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.

The victory saw the Black and Whites move to fourth in the league ladder and just four points behind the Wolves, who along with St Helens have been head and shoulders the best sides in the competition this season, a fact conceded by Minichiello.

Having won at Warrington and with key players absent, the 37-year-old says the challenge now is to maintain that standard and find a level of consistency which has been absent in the opening 15 rounds of the campaign.

“The top two - Saints and Warrington - have been far better than the majority of the competition all year and if that’s the level you need to be at week in week out then we proved that we can match it and beat those teams,” said Minichiello.

Hull FC's Mark Minichiello is stopped by the Catalans Dragons defence
Hull FC's Mark Minichiello is stopped by the Catalans Dragons defence

“For us, it’s doing it week in week out, that’s the challenge now. If that’s the intensity and physicality of the game we need to step up to week in week out, it’s a great challenge for us to meet that.

“We’ve got a quality side and if one to 17 play their best we can match it with everyone.

“We proved that at Warrington and hopefully we can keep working hard and keep growing in confidence knowing we can get results like that.”

Hull will hope to build on the win when heading to Anfield for Magic Weekend and a clash against Huddersfield Giants on Saturday afternoon.

With Warrington facing Wigan Warriors in the game that follows FC, the Black and Whites could move into third and two points behind the Wolves in second with a win over a Giants team whose results have also been inconsistent, even if performances have improved of late.

  
Hull FC's Mark Minichiello and Josh Griffin halt a Salford Red Devils attack
Hull FC's Mark Minichiello and Josh Griffin halt a Salford Red Devils attack

With the Challenge Cup quarter-finals due to see another two-week break from league matters, Minichiello knows the importance of FC moving into a stronger position in the table before getting back on the road to Wembley.

“We said all year we want to be in that top five and you give yourself a chance if you keep winning,” added Minichiello.

“Huddersfield are going well. They’re a big, physical team. We have to back up our performance and keep building on that confidence. We want to get a result, especially at Magic.

“I’m looking forward to running out there. It’s an iconic stadium. I’m not the biggest football fan but I do know a little about Liverpool and their ground.”