Challenge Cup fifth round: Francis Cummins says win will boost Bradford
Head coach Francis Cummins said it was a massive boost for his struggling Bradford side to knock out Catalan Dragons.
Last Updated: 27/04/14 11:00pm
The French side led 16-0 after just 13 minutes but Cummins' team fought back with five tries and 30 unanswered points in less than half an hour either side of half time to set up a memorable win.
The Bulls had lost their last seven games against fellow Super League clubs but upset the odds with a 33-20 triumph in front of their own fans.
Cummins said: "I've never questioned the character of my players once but this is a real boost for the boys and my staff - it can be a lonely time when and you get written off by everyone.
"This is a real positive for our club and today even the fans, who've been really good, found their voice again.
"Character is a massive thing but we probably had a better mindset today - we got them down the right end of the field and showed patience that we have not shown recently.
"We learned because we have been trying to knock them out with every play and they have taught themselves a lesson that they don't need to do that.
"They (Catalans) came up with some errors but I felt we forced them - our middle was great, although we had a couple of brain explosions early on the fringes, and Jay Pitts (making his debut after signing on loan from Hull in midweek) put in a great shift for his first game out."
The beleaguered Bulls had shipped 130 points during their two heavy losses over Easter and looked like they were heading for another defeat when the Dragons raced into 16-0 lead through tries from Daryl Millard, Ben Pomeroy and Olivier Elima.
But a trio of touchdowns in nine minutes before half time and two more in the first quarter after the break, all converted by Jamie Foster, gave the Bulls a 30-16 lead which they rarely looked like relinquishing.
Lee Gaskell, Foster twice, Luke Gale and Adrian Purtell all scored for Bradford with Michael Oldfield replying for Catalans, while Gale put the seal on the victory with a late drop goal. Foster, just back from illness, finished with a personal tally of 20 points.
Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous, whose side had won their previous four on the spin, refuted suggestions they might have taken the Bulls too lightly.
"We played clinically at the start and we had guys running and some shape but after scoring the last try we switched off, took some short cuts and defensively we were poor," he said. "They fought back hard and got the win so credit to Bradford.
"My players were tired - we've had four games in two weeks and trained only two times this week - but it's normal at this time of year and the same for any team."