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Francis Cummins focuses on Catalan Dragons clash in aftermath of annual slaying at Magic Weekend
Bulls coach Francis Cummins watched his men suffer more Magic Weekend misery and then declared: “The season starts now.”
Huddersfield’s 54-16 victory condemned Bradford to a seventh defeat in eight years since the annual event was introduced in 2007.
Cummins’ squad was decimated by injuries once again but a number of players should be available again for Saturday’s trip to Catalan.
On-loan Huddersfield prop Antonio Kaufusi will return after being ineligible yesterday and James Donaldson (ankle) and Manase Manuokafoa (hamstring) are aiming to be passed fit, while rookies Jordan Baldwinson and Mason Tonks are set to arrive from New Zealand Warriors early this week.
Cummins said: “There probably is a bit of a feeling of the season starts now.
“We could have Manuo-kafoa and Kaufusi back as well as maybe James Donaldson and the two young lads.
“We start to look back to where we were but there are a few days until we get on that plane, so what’s happened all year may happen again.
“We do look like we’re in a good position with players available, though, and we’ll have a pack, which we’ve not had for the past month.
“Baldwinson and Tonks could be here by Monday or Tuesday but it depends what shape they’re in as to whether they will be available for Catalan.”
Yesterday’s reverse was the Bulls’ tenth defeat of the season and left them eight points adrift of third-bottom Wakefield.
Yet Cummins insisted: “We know that we’re light as a squad but we’ve got the belief that we can stay up.
“There are a lot of people out there saying we can’t but we don’t pay too much attention to that.
“There is a scrap on here but we are literally fighting for our lives and that’s how it has got to be.
“There are a few more clubs in the mix because you never know what might happen in the next few weeks – there might be even more pressure on them.”
The Bulls went toe to toe with Huddersfield during the opening quarter but, with Adam Sidlow their only specialist prop and Chev Walker playing with an injury, the second half was completely one-sided.
Cummins added: “I’m proud of the effort the guys showed.
“We stuck to what we wanted to do and we had to play like that in the opening 20 minutes.
“We only had two props out there and one of them – Chev Walker – has put his hand up and done a tremendous job.
“He’s not been able to walk since Friday so we knew it was going to be hard when you look at the wealth of props that Huddersfield have.
“We’ve known we’ve been at this stage all year but if we lose seven or eight players from a squad of 25 then I’m struggling.
“It’s going to need a massive effort and will need players in positions who really know what they’re doing.
“Tom Olbison played at prop as well for 30 minutes and you can get away with it on the odd occasion but when you’ve got five or six players like that it’s always going to be difficult.”
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