Agar expects Bradford to beat Hull
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss Richard Agar is not expecting any favours from his old club Hull FC when they take on Bradford Bulls tomorrow evening.
Agar’s Wildcats, one of the form teams of Stobart Super League with five straight wins, are going head to head with the Bulls for the last play-off spot, although 10th-placed Hull KR will rekindle their outside hopes if they topple Wigan Warriors on Sunday.
Wakefield, who are a point behind the Bulls with two games left of the regular season, could take over eighth spot if Hull win at Odsal and they beat Widnes Vikings at home 24 hours later.
Bradford, docked six points for going into administration, face a last-round clash with high-flying Catalan Dragons in Perpignan but Agar does not believe they have the more arduous run-in.
“Not if Hull play like they did at Widnes,” said Agar, referring to his former club’s humiliating 42-16 hammering in their last outing. “Their away form has not been great all year.
“I am expecting Bradford to win at the weekend. I would expect Hull to come out and show a response to the Widnes game but Bradford have been a pretty solid team all year.”
Hull are guaranteed their play-off spot but coach Peter Gentle admits they will need to find a major improvement on their last performance if they are to secure the win that will ensure a home tie and he believes they could do worse than emulate the Bulls.
“We embarrassed everybody involved with the club with our performance against Widnes,” Gentle said.
“From that game, there is a lot of things that have to change but mainly our attitude and especially in defence. That’s what Bradford have at the moment.
“They have a good attitude and a desire to defend comes on the back of that. The challenge for us is to match that attitude and enter the game with some enthusiasm of our own.
“It’s important to get out there and show a real determination and excitement to show what we can do ahead of the play-offs.”
But for their points deduction, the Bulls would have been challenging Leeds Rhinos for fifth spot and assistant coach Francis Cummins admits the players have thrived on adversity.
In addition to the points deduction, the players have battled through the uncertainty over the club’s future as they await the outcome of crucial takeover talks involving local restaurant owner Omar Khan.
“We don’t feel that as a group the points deduction was anything to do with what we did but we have paid the price for other people’s mistakes,” said Cummins, who along with head coach Mick Potter has been working unpaid since being made redundant two months ago.
“It has certainly spurred them on, there is no doubt about that and it is evident in the results we have achieved and how well they are working for each other.
“We are not looking at what other sides have to do or not do because we know that, if we win both our games, we will be in there and in there on merit.
“We have spoken about not getting involved in other scenarios because, if we do, it will burn us.”
Bradford have French captain Olivier Elima back from a month’s absence with a shoulder injury while Hull are boosted by the return from an ankle injury of England centre Kirk Yeaman.