Super League: Bradford Bulls v Wakefield Wildcats preview
By Jonathan Doidge. Last Updated: 30/05/14 8:29pm
Bradford Bulls coach Francis Cummins has been boosted by the return of five experienced players ahead of Sunday's vital relegation clash with Wakefield.
A win for the Bulls would give them much-needed impetus going into the second-half of the First:Utility Super League campaign and to that end, Cummins is delighted to be able to recall skipper Matt Diskin, second-row Dale Ferguson, centre Matty Blythe and front-rowers Jamal Fakir and Chev Walker.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the visit of the Wildcats, the Bradford coach admitted: "We are excited about it. I've said it before and I will repeat, the result of this fixture is not going to determine where we finish in the league, but will contribute to it. We have got to focus on playing this one game just like we do every week."
The return of the five seasoned pros means that there are no places for Nathan Conroy, Alex Mellor, Jordan Baldwinson, Adam O'Brien or Joe Arundel, who were all in the squad when the Bulls were hammered 46-4 against the Dragons last week.
After notable home wins against Catalan in the Challenge Cup and then Warrington a week later in Super League, Bradford have conceded an average of 50-points in each of their last three games.
The Bulls can draw some confidence from their performance against Sunday's opponents away from home back in March, when Adrian Purtell was among the tryscorers and a late Luke Gale drop goal helped seal a 23-10 win.
Added to that, the Wildcats have not won at The Provident Stadium in seven attempts, their last success there being in September 2006.
Wakefield coach Richard Agar has recalled Chris Riley after the winger had to sit out the defeat to his parent club Warrington last week under a gentleman's agreement, while Daniel Smith is also back in the fold after playing for Featherstone under the dual registration system last week.
Along with Lee Gilmour, who joined the club in midweek on loan from Castleford for a month, the trio replace Max Jowitt and Chris Annakin (both suspended) and Jacob Fairbank (broken ankle).
Considering they have longer-term absentees of the calibre of Dean Collis, Taulima Tautai and Ali Lauiti'iti, Wakefield's task will not be easy. They currently stand eight points ahead of the Bulls, but the astute Cummins looks to have called it right in that this result will not decide the fate of Bradford.
With the verdict due next week on the home team's appeal against their six-point deduction for going into administration earlier in the year, their biggest battle for survival may again be off, and not on, the field of play.
Bradford Bulls: Addy, Blythe, Diskin, Donaldson, Fakir, Ferguson, Foster, Gale, Gaskell, George, Henry, Kaufusi, Kear, Manuokafoa, Olbison, Pitts, Purtell, Sidlow, Walker.
Wakefield Wildcats: Mathers, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Kirmond, Washbrook, Wildie, Ryan, Moore, Sammut, Walshaw, Smith, Molloy, Siejka, Scruton, Riley, Owen, Gilmour.
First Utility Super League
Thu 21st May
Castleford Tigers16 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC10 - 17St Helens
Leeds Rhinos36 - 16Hull K R
Salford Red Devils18 - 34Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans Dragons58 - 16Wigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats18 - 30Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Warrington WolvesvsCatalans Dragons
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
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 R0 - 0Hull 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
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- Win keeps Tigers in the hunt
- Bulls breathe again after win
- Radford: Lancaster can star
- Hull FC too good for Broncos
- Saints laugh off criticism
- Betts fumes at Widnes
- Widnes snatch Dragons draw
- Wolves roll over Rhinos
- St Helens cruise past Salford
- Bulls call upon experience
- Tigers v Hull KR: Teams
- Response pleases Anderson
- Giants too strong for Wigan
- Wolves v Rhinos: Teams
- Vikings v Dragons: Teams
- Saints v Red Devils: Teams
- Wane: O'Loughlin our leader
- Eorl praises Wigan
- Giants v Warriors: Teams
- Foster: Bulls must beat Wakey
- Warriors hopeful on quartet