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Super League: Francis Cummins was happy with shoulder charges

Last Updated: 26/02/13 3:22pm

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Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins would not have banned the shoulder charge as he believes fans love the high-impact challenges it brings to rugby league.

The RFL outlawed the tackle in Super League last week, following in the footsteps of Australia and New Zealand after the International Federation extended a worldwide ban.

As a coach the tackle is not something Cummins encourages his players to utilise as he feels it would not benefit Bradford, due to the opposing player being able to have a quick play the ball.

The former Leeds Rhinos winger was quite happy for players to use it as and when they liked, however, for any incorrect usage he would have wanted and expected the perpetrators to be banned.

"I'm not for it (the ban). I don't think it's a great technique in tackling anyway. I think the shoulder barge is for the fans," he told Sky Sports.

"People like the collision and want to come and see our game because it is a high intensity and high collision sport. As a coach it's not something we coach.

"It's not something I said before the ban that I want them to do because generally people bounce off each other and the guy playing the ball plays it quick. We want to dominate the play the ball.

Worry

"It's the physicality of the game that people want to see and if you want to try and intimidate your opponent you should be allowed to, but if you get it wrong and you shoulder barge someone in the head then you need to be banned."
Francis Cummins

"My worry was that it's the physicality of the game that people want to see and if you want to try and intimidate your opponent you should be allowed to, but if you get it wrong and you shoulder barge someone in the head then you need to be banned.

"It's going to be hard for the referees to call the shoulder charge I think in a lot of instances because he does happen so quickly."

Bradford were slow out of the blocks and paid the price against St Helens on Saturday and things do not get any easier for the Bulls with a trip to table-toppers Huddersfield Giants this weekend.

Cummins has been impressed with their off-season recruitment and the size of their pack, although he knows his charges must make a better start if they are to challenge for the two points.

"They've been the form team haven't they so far," Cummings said of Huddersfield. "You look at their recruitment and the way they've gone they've got a really big pack.

"With most of the teams as they are at the moment you've got to ask a few questions when you get down the other end. For the first 20 minutes we didn't have much of the ball at all, when we did get in the field positions against Saints we did ask questions and looked quite good.

"You can't go into a game 20-0 down like we did last week."

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