Super League: Warrington Wolves v Bradford Bulls preview
Last Updated: 29/06/14 9:11am
Warrington Wolves will look to take another step up the Super League ladder when they host relegation candidates Bradford Bulls at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday.
Six successive league triumphs have seen the Wolves move up to sixth in the standings, while the Bulls will be out to avenge their Challenge Cup quarter-final exit earlier in the month.
Tony Smith’s side moved into the last four of the knockout competition after beating the beleaguered Bulls 46-10 at Odsal as their nightmare season continued to unravel before them.
With the Bulls 13th in the Super League table, and only two points ahead of bottom side London Broncos, coach Francis Cummins was relieved of his duties and replaced by James Lowes following last weekend’s defeat to Hull KR.
The 44-18 reverse at Odsal was a fifth defeat in six for the Bulls, who have just two points to their name having been deducted six points for entering administration, though their fight to regain those points rumbles on.
On the field, victory for the Broncos against Widnes on Saturday would not be enough to demote the Bulls to the foot-of-the-table courtesy of their superior points difference; while Warrington could move as high as fourth win a win at the Halliwell Jones on Sunday.
Despite being sent crashing out of the cup by the Wolves, Lowes will hope the Bulls can draw heart from their 34-28 league victory over Wire in the return league fixture last month.
Ahead of the visit of the Bulls, Wolves coach Smith has named three changes to the side which beat Salford Red Devils 36-20 last time out.
Ben Evans, Joe Philbin and Tom Walker all drop out of the match-day 19 as Anthony England, Chris Hill and Gareth O’Brien are brought back into the squad.
“Bradford need to prove to their coach that they deserve their place in the squad so they'll go out trying to show him, and themselves, what they can do regardless of where they are in the league,” warned Wolves winger Gene Ormsby.
"Every Super League team is a Super League team and you need to treat them with respect. They have players in their squad who can do a job on us which they proved earlier in the year so it's about mutual respect."
In his first squad selection, Lowes has made just one change to the side chosen by Cummins for his final game in charge.
Centre Adam Henry has been recalled to take the place of back-rower Alex Mellor, while Brett Kearney is line for a return from injury after being ruled out just before kick off last weekend.
“It has been very frustrating, being out for such a long time in what has been a tough period for the club,” Kearney told the club’s official website.
“I had the cast removed at the start of last week and the hand is feeling pretty good.
“We have to go to Warrington on Sunday, put in the performance we know we are capable of and attempt to get the points.”
Warrington Wolves: Asotasi, Atkins, C. Bridge, Currie, Dwyer, England, R. Evans, Grix, Harrison, Higham, Hill, King, J. Monaghan, O'Brien, Ormsby, Ratchford, Riley, Russell, Westwood
Bradford Bulls: Blythe, Pitts, Olbison, Purtell, Gale, Kear, Donaldson, O'Brien, George, Henry, Diskin, Baldwinson, Kearney, Walker, Addy, Gaskell, Sidlow, Manuokafoa, Fakir
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K RvsSalford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2014, round 18
James Webster had mixed emotions after Wakefield were denied a third successive victory by Hull FC.
Brian McDermott admitted the better team lost after his Leeds Rhinos beat Catalan Dragons 32-21 with a late penalty.
Warrington ran in nine tries during a 50-24 win over Bradford in Jimmy Lowes' first match in charge of the Bulls.