Super League: Francis Cummins hoping experience will count for Bradford Bulls
By Jonathan Doidge. Last Updated: 30/05/14 6:05pm
Bradford Bulls coach Francis Cummins is hoping that experience will count for plenty when his team entertain Wakefield on Sunday.
The fallen giants are desperate for a win that would give them hope of avoiding the drop to the Championship. However, the strugglers have conceded an average of 50-points a game in the past three weeks.
Cummins is hoping the return of captain Matt Diskin, Chev Walker and French international Jamal Fakir, plus both Matty Blythe and Dale Ferguson will give his team a much-needed fillip.
"There's no doubt that our defence has got to improve. We had two props in those defeats. Even in those wins we had players playing out of position and it does take its toll."
"There's a few things come together to be able to bring the five of them back all at once," Cummins told Sky Sports.
"Matt and Chev have been carrying knocks throughout the last six weeks when we have had no other middles. They would have put their hands up to play last week but I had to give them an extra week or we could have been without them for a long time.
"I have had to get them to put their feet up for an extra week, but all five have trained and I am confident that they will all play."
Those hefty recent defeats has seen the Bulls coach come in for criticism from some Bradford supports and he admitted: "There's no doubt that our defence has got to improve. We had two props in those defeats. Even in those wins we had players playing out of position and it does take its toll.
"I am more disappointed with how we started in Catalan last week than anything, but it is very tough to compete at this level with only two fit props."
The Bulls won at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium in March and have a great record against Wakefield in the summer era, winning all but seven of their previous 33 clashes, but Cummins is wary of what they can achieve when they work as a unit.
"They are similar to us," he continued. "On their day they've had some good results. Not that long ago against Hull FC and Widnes they put it together for 80 minutes and showed what they are capable of.
"They have often had good starts but not done the full 80 minutes and it is down to us to try stop them from doing that on Sunday.
"We know a lot about (former Bulls players) Nick Scruton and Jarrod Sammut and what they can do but its more collective than individual. If they hit their straps as a team they can be very difficult to deal with."