Brown warns of Bulls repeat
Huddersfield Giants coach Nathan Brown has put his table-toppers on alert as he seeks to avoid a repeat of last year’s shock defeat at Bradford Bulls.
The Bulls made a mockery of their lowly position last July when they pulled off a stunning 36-0 victory over the high-flying Giants and they go into tomorrow’s Stobart Super League on an impressive run of four wins from their last six matches.
“We are a very different team from the last time we went to Bradford,” said Brown.
“They’re playing really well and I reckon they’ve got one of the better forward packs in the competition.
“They’ve always got three really big blokes through the middle along with some quicker, more agile blokes on the edge of their back row.
“That part of the game is going to be tough. It’s a tough fixture for us and probably one of the toughest we’ve come up against this year.”
Bradford have produced the best form of the season in spite of the club’s off-field worries as they battle for financial salvation and assistant coach Lee St Hilaire, a former Huddersfield player, admits the team are on a roll.
“We have built some great momentum,” he said. “To get four points from the Easter fixtures was tremendous for us.
“We are using the old cliche ‘let’s take one game at a time’ and just keep on building the momentum we have created over the past few weeks and keep the confidence high. Every week is a different challenge for us.”
Wigan Warriors, who have climbed to second in the table after winning their last three matches, are taking no chances ahead of their game at injury-hit Hull FC by organising an overnight stay.
Hull’s assistant coach Lee Radford, who came out of retirement over Easter, is once more on standby as the club’s injury situation shows little sign of easing but Warriors coach Shaun Wane is anticipating a testing game.
“Hull are a real good rugby playing team,” he said. “They play very similar to Wests from where (Hull coach) Peter Gentle came from.
“We have watched a load of footage and will look at more before the weekend, we will be well prepared for Sunday’s trip to Hull.
“This is an important game for us. We will stop over Saturday night and prepare right. This is a real big game we want to win.”
Castleford Tigers will be aiming to atone for their shock Carnegie Challenge Cup exit when they take on Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Tigers are licking their wounds from their 23-16 fourth-round defeat at Featherstone and their task is made harder by the absence of Man of Steel Rangi Chase, who begins a three-match ban.
Wolves coach Tony Smith said: “Castleford will be looking to bounce back after the weekend, making this even more of a tough game for us.
“They were in pretty good form in the weeks leading up to last weekend.
“They are certainly a team that are growing and trying to establish themselves as regular mid-table competitors looking to force into the eight (play-off places).”
Another team aiming to rekindle top-eight hopes are Hull KR, who take on a London Broncos side yet to pick up a point away from home.
However, Rovers coach Craig Sandercock believes the Londoners are in a false position in the table and is wary of the former NRL talent at the disposal of Rob Powell.
“It’s going to be a really tough game because when you look at London’s squad on paper, they have some great players,” he said.
“Craig Gower and Antonio Kaufusi have both played for Australia, whilst Michael Robertson and Shane Rodney were both part of a Manly side that won the NRL Grand Final last season.
“I was one person who thought that they’d be there or thereabouts and I’m just hoping that we can get the win this weekend and they can start their run the following week.”
Broncos coach Powell is hoping his side’s 72-4 Challenge Cup win over Dewsbury can kick-start their league campaign.
“We need to build on the positives of last week’s strong performance,” he said.
“We have looked sharp in training coming through the Easter period and need to apply that for 80 minutes in order for our performances to count in the league.”