Bradford relegated: Bulls need to 'dust off' and work hard for return, says Tony Rea
Last Updated: 21/07/14 4:38pm
Glory days: Bulls' Super League winning years seem a distant memory
Tony Rea says relegated Bradford Bulls need to 'dust off' and make the most of life in the Championship.
The Bulls' relegation from Super League was all but confirmed on Sunday afternoon when they suffered a 52-26 defeat at the hands of Huddersfield.
Bradford had led 10-4 after the first quarter against their Yorkshire rivals but then found themselves trailing 26-16 at the John Smith’s Stadium, their cause not helped by conceding two tries in as many minutes before the break.
Tony Rea told Sky Sports News it's disappointing that Bradford, who won the Super League title in 2001, 2003 and 2005, find themselves facing next season in the Championship.
"It’s been of their own doing; they’ve had their problems for the last couple of years," said the former coach of already-relegated London Broncos.
"They’ve been a wonderful club in the Super League era and even before the Super League era. They’ve played particularly well and been a real star part of the Super League so it’s disappointing.
"They’re a terrific club and a wonderful club when they get going, but at the end of the day the performances on the field is what counts and this year they just haven’t played well enough as a group. They probably had enough in their squad to do better than they’ve done but the fact that they’ve had so much turmoil off the field means it’s been difficult for them."
There is yet the possibility Bulls could win back the six points they were docked for going into administration via High-Court action, but even then they would be still well adrift of safety and have already failed with one appeal.
Rea added that the points issue is now irrelevant and the club may even withdraw the appeal to try and save money.
"They’re a terrific club and a wonderful club when they get going, but at the end of the day the performances on the field is what counts and this year they just haven’t played well enough as a group."
"They’re relegated they know that," he added. “In some ways that’s cleansing for them because they know their destiny, they know what they’ve got to do.
"The six points might have put a nail in it but the other thing that matters here is form – they’re not playing well enough. You can do all the appeals in the court you like but even that won’t give them enough points to be anywhere near surviving.
"The six points are irrelevant. It’s about as a club, ‘we’re going to fight to show that we’ve got some backbone to us.’ You wouldn’t be surprised if they withdraw the protest late to save a bit of money.
"They’ve got some great spirit there, they’re just going to have to dust off and make the most of life down below.
"Of all the clubs going down and in that league below they’d be the ones that will be highly ranked provided they can keep themselves together; if they keep a bunch of players together, they’ll be ok.
"It’s difficult this new concept next year. We have a three-tiered system with a seven-game qualification series to come back up – that’s hard – they’re capable of it though and they’ve just got to start the work now to get that job done this time next year."