Bradford Bulls bid to turn jeers into cheers in Challenge Cup

Francis Cummins shows off his new recruits Jay Pitts, left, and Joe Arundel following their season-long loan signings from Hull FC

Francis Cummins shows off his new recruits Jay Pitts, left, and Joe Arundel following their season-long loan signings from Hull FC

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Bulls Reporter

Bulls coach Francis Cummins has backed his newly-bolstered squad to conjure the right response when they take on Catalan Dragons in tomorrow’s Challenge Cup fifth-round tie.

The Bulls have been boosted by the arrival of Hull FC back-rower Jay Pitts and centre Joe Arundel on loan until the end of the season.

Pitts, 24, will feature tomorrow but 22-year-old Arundel is cup-tied and should make his debut in next weekend’s Super League home clash with Warrington.

Now Cummins is seeking a vast improvement from his players after the humiliating club-record defeat at Wigan on Easter Monday.

Head coach Cummins said: “What I’m looking for is a reaction to the Wigan game.

“I’m really disappointed that we dropped to a standard which on that day wasn’t acceptable.

“The players have had one week off where they have dropped the bundle but they have never stopped working for this club – never.

“They have been getting it from all angles and don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I have blasted them.

“That could have been at half-time or like today (Friday) at training when I’ve been brutally honest with them.

“No-one means to play as bad as that; I’m not sure we could play as bad as that again. We have got to make sure that we don’t.”

Managing director Steve Ferres issued an apology to supporters who travelled to Wigan but Cummins said diplomatically: “Steve has been brought in as managing director and he’s got to look at whatever he’s got to look at.

“But I’ve got a group of players there who have been through hell. My job is to protect my players.

“We capitulated and my frustration has been that we have never once given up on each other but for that one time.”

Jamie Foster, Matt Diskin, Adam Sidlow and Luke George are all back in contention to play tomorrow.

Dale Ferguson (back) and James Donaldson (ankle) remain sidelined but could be back next weekend.

Cummins, whose squad were addressed by owner Marc Green in midweek, said: “The way Marc spoke to the players was exactly what needed to be said.

“In fact, I went a bit harder with the players in training than Marc did.”

Clubs are allowed to have up to four players on loan at any one time and Cummins says he has other targets in mind.

He said: “Hopefully in the next week or so we can either get some more loans in or actual signings. There are things happening now, which is good.”

Pitts and Arundel have both played for Doncaster on dual-registration this season.

Ossett-based Pitts, who was coached by Cummins at Leeds, said: “I’m here as long as I’m needed and will work my backside off for Bradford now.

“Franny’s a good coach and I’m glad to be working with him again.

“Being here will be good for my game and hopefully it will benefit Bradford.

“I need to show Hull that I deserve to be playing regularly for them.”

Castleford-based Arundel said: “I’ve had limited chances at Hull and, while I’ve played at Doncaster, it’s not Super League.

“They’re a good bunch of lads here and I’m looking forward to playing Super League week in and week out.

“I’ve got another two years left on my Hull contract after this, so I want to be showing them what I can do and hopefully push for my spot back.

“It’s been hard but Radders (Lee Radford) picks his team and you’ve got to respect that.

“I’ll do my best for Bradford and show them what I can do. If Hull want me back then so be it.”

Cummins, meanwhile, wants his players to mix it with Catalans’ notoriously physical pack, including in-form Elliott Whitehead.

Cummins said: “Elliott is playing really well at the moment with both sides of his game, and that’s good for him.

“The size of Catalans’ pack means they are rolling through teams but we’ve got to start getting in people’s faces and ruffling a few feathers again.

“I’ve talked to Jamal Fakir about playing with his head and not his heart.

“He has to keep a lid on that but there’s no doubt he has a point to prove in this game.”

Meanwhile, the Bulls’ appeal against their points penalty is now expected to be heard the week after next.

Comments (9)

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8:39am Sat 26 Apr 14

bullybullman says...

Looks like the Wigan thrashing may have finally given the players the kick up the jacksey they needed ! Hope we can get a win tomorrow a good cup run may be the only highlight of a miserable season.
Looks like the Wigan thrashing may have finally given the players the kick up the jacksey they needed ! Hope we can get a win tomorrow a good cup run may be the only highlight of a miserable season. bullybullman
  • Score: 2

8:44am Sat 26 Apr 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Keighley have a chance of progression today. Hopefully a Keighley win and a Bradford win with a draw between them at Cougar Park. Would help both, good chance of a semi final spot for the Bulls and a good payday for the Cougars.

But thats getting a little carried away.
Keighley have a chance of progression today. Hopefully a Keighley win and a Bradford win with a draw between them at Cougar Park. Would help both, good chance of a semi final spot for the Bulls and a good payday for the Cougars. But thats getting a little carried away. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 10

11:21am Sat 26 Apr 14

The Fat Lady Sings says...

Mr Cummins thinks that the Managing Director should not have said what he said. Hmmmm? Me thinks you had better get the reaction you believe these players are capable of, coach, otherwise there may be another reaction from Mr Ferres but directed at you.
Mr Cummins thinks that the Managing Director should not have said what he said. Hmmmm? Me thinks you had better get the reaction you believe these players are capable of, coach, otherwise there may be another reaction from Mr Ferres but directed at you. The Fat Lady Sings
  • Score: 0

11:34am Sat 26 Apr 14

Loadofbull70 says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
Keighley have a chance of progression today. Hopefully a Keighley win and a Bradford win with a draw between them at Cougar Park. Would help both, good chance of a semi final spot for the Bulls and a good payday for the Cougars.

But thats getting a little carried away.
That would be a great fixture give us a guide how we will fair next season ?
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: Keighley have a chance of progression today. Hopefully a Keighley win and a Bradford win with a draw between them at Cougar Park. Would help both, good chance of a semi final spot for the Bulls and a good payday for the Cougars. But thats getting a little carried away.[/p][/quote]That would be a great fixture give us a guide how we will fair next season ? Loadofbull70
  • Score: 3

12:54pm Sat 26 Apr 14

bully4us says...

I doubt sentiment will come into it with Green and Ferres. Anyone under performing will be out by September ready for next year wherever we are playing.
I doubt sentiment will come into it with Green and Ferres. Anyone under performing will be out by September ready for next year wherever we are playing. bully4us
  • Score: 2

1:38pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Bullcity says...

On paper we have no chance of beating the Catalns who are finding some form of late.
The cup can make players rise above themselves & the hope is that this will happen tomorrow.
Good luck guys & play well-COYB!!
On paper we have no chance of beating the Catalns who are finding some form of late. The cup can make players rise above themselves & the hope is that this will happen tomorrow. Good luck guys & play well-COYB!! Bullcity
  • Score: 2

3:17pm Sat 26 Apr 14

oswald777 says...

I think we'll lose by maybe 20 points, which, for the worst team superleague has ever seen, could be considered a decent result........
I think we'll lose by maybe 20 points, which, for the worst team superleague has ever seen, could be considered a decent result........ oswald777
  • Score: -2

6:06pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Well Cougars have furfilled their end of the bargin and are sat in the quarter final draw.
Well Cougars have furfilled their end of the bargin and are sat in the quarter final draw. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 4

10:44am Sun 27 Apr 14

beverleyhills cop returns says...

bully4us wrote:
I doubt sentiment will come into it with Green and Ferres. Anyone under performing will be out by September ready for next year wherever we are playing.
That's how it should be we need people who are going to fight for there shirt.As fans that's all we ask for,we have no chance of signing any permanent players this season all we can hope for is good loan players.At times like this you find out who the true supporters are not the glory hunters COYB
[quote][p][bold]bully4us[/bold] wrote: I doubt sentiment will come into it with Green and Ferres. Anyone under performing will be out by September ready for next year wherever we are playing.[/p][/quote]That's how it should be we need people who are going to fight for there shirt.As fans that's all we ask for,we have no chance of signing any permanent players this season all we can hope for is good loan players.At times like this you find out who the true supporters are not the glory hunters COYB beverleyhills cop returns
  • Score: 1

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