Bradford Bulls: Stuart Fielden and Craig Kopczak add spice to tasty clash with red-hot Giants

Stuart Fielden playing for Huddersfield against Wigan this season

TIGER FEAT: With Iestyn Harris after beating Wests Tigers to win the 2006 World Club Challenge

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

Earlier this month, legendary former Bulls prop Stuart Fielden helped Huddersfield to victory over Wigan at the John Smith’s Stadium.

It was the Giants’ second scalp of the season after they stuffed St Helens in round one.

It should have been a cause for celebration. It was not.

“Everyone was a bit down in the changing room afterwards,” said Fielden, who joined Huddersfield from the Warriors on a two-year deal.

“The desire to scramble was there and beating Wigan is always a big result but technically we weren't great.

“I’ll be honest, we have been disappointed with how we’ve performed in three of our four games this season, even though we won them all.

Stuart Fielden

We’ve got a very big physical set but it’s not about size – it’s what you do with it

“They were scruffy games and, bar the Saints game in round one, we’ve not hit our straps yet.”

The 33-year-old’s appraisal says much for the desire and ambition pulsing around his club right now.

Huddersfield are the only side in Super League with a 100 per cent record after four rounds.

They will be looking to continue their fine start this weekend when Fielden and Craig Kopczak come up against the Bulls for the first time as Huddersfield players.

Paul Anderson’s acquisition of the pair during the winter has given the appropriately-named Giants the biggest pack in the competition.

It has also led to comparisons with the ‘Awesome Foursome’ quartet of Anderson, Fielden, Brian McDermott and Joe Vagana, who laid the platform for the Bulls’ era of dominance.

Fielden said: “You can’t compare this Huddersfield pack with the Awesome Foursome.

“That was ten years ago and a completely different era, team and people. The competition has changed unbelievably and I’ve changed a lot myself.

“We’ve got a very big physical set but it’s not about size – it’s what you do with it.

“But we’re going alright and I think the key for us is that we’ve got strength in depth.”

Much of the spotlight will fall on Kopczak during Sunday’s derby clash following his controversial exit from Bradford last September.

The Wales international terminated his contract of employment with his hometown club in the build-up to the final-round trip to Catalan.

He did not inform his team-mates of his decision.

“I don’t knows the ins and outs of Koppy’s reasons for leaving,” said Fielden.

“I got a lot of stick from Bradford fans myself for many years after I left. Sometimes these things happen but Koppy is a great player and can be as good as he wants.

“He’s come on tonnes since I left Bradford in 2006.

“I remember he was going okay then but he’s improved massively.

“After Eorl Crabtree, I think Koppy is the largest lad in our squad but he’s very athletic and is certainly playing very well for us.”

When it became clear that Wigan would not be offering Fielden a new contract last year, he was sounded out about a potential return to Bradford.

The money on offer put paid to that as Fielden explained: “I got a call asking if I was fixed up yet and I said no.

“But you can’t take two-thirds of a pay cut can you?

“I’ve got a life, a family and it’s a job at the end of the day.”

Nevertheless, Fielden’s affiliation to Bradford runs deep and he won every trophy on offer during his time at the club.

In February 2006 he helped the Bulls to their last piece of silverware, being named man of the match and scoring two tries in the World Club Challenge match against Wests Tigers.

Fielden, who gave his time to help drive the pledge last season as well as donating a Grand Final winners’ ring and jersey, said: “I went through a lot at Bradford with a really special group of people.

“We had such a great time but at the same time achieved a lot of great things.

“The only player left from my time there is Langers (Jamie Langley) and there is an entirely new administration staff but I’ve still got an awful lot of affection for the place.

“Franny has assembled a good team and I think they’re definitely going to be challenging for that top eight.

“They’ve got some very good players and I know that Warrington made an offer for John Bateman.

“Jarrod Sammut can be outstanding at times and Chev Walker is a tough, tough player who I won many of my Great Britain caps with.

“There are some very good players there but you can’t be blind and not say it’s going to be a building process.

“Nobody is expecting the Bulls to finish top and their last final was in ’06.

“The main thing is the Bulls didn’t go down, Omar Khan kept them afloat and now they’ve just got to rebuild. I wish them well.”

Comments (7)

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10:15am Thu 28 Feb 13

flashdonut says...

Fielden is a legend. Kopzcak is a sneaky rat.
Fielden is a legend. Kopzcak is a sneaky rat. flashdonut
  • Score: 0

10:42am Thu 28 Feb 13

raisemeup says...

That's a nice tribute to the "Bulls" from a thoroughly nice bloke with a lot of integrity.
When we meet Huddersfield on Sunday we can be proud that Paul Anderson and Stuart Fielden were a product and a legacy of what the Bulls were and will be again to Super League.
Perhaps if Paul want's to offload a prop we could take Eorl Crabtree to help in our future aspirations??
So we can support those two players with respect on the day.
But nevertheless a win is what we need, and that is what we can achieve if we play it right.
Incidently Stuart Fielden never deserved the stick from some of the fans, who let's face it didn't realise why he went to Wigan: ie the club probably saw the £ signs in his and Brian Nobles departure??
That's a nice tribute to the "Bulls" from a thoroughly nice bloke with a lot of integrity. When we meet Huddersfield on Sunday we can be proud that Paul Anderson and Stuart Fielden were a product and a legacy of what the Bulls were and will be again to Super League. Perhaps if Paul want's to offload a prop we could take Eorl Crabtree to help in our future aspirations?? So we can support those two players with respect on the day. But nevertheless a win is what we need, and that is what we can achieve if we play it right. Incidently Stuart Fielden never deserved the stick from some of the fans, who let's face it didn't realise why he went to Wigan: ie the club probably saw the £ signs in his and Brian Nobles departure?? raisemeup
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Thu 28 Feb 13

mines a pint says...

raisemeup wrote:
That's a nice tribute to the "Bulls" from a thoroughly nice bloke with a lot of integrity.
When we meet Huddersfield on Sunday we can be proud that Paul Anderson and Stuart Fielden were a product and a legacy of what the Bulls were and will be again to Super League.
Perhaps if Paul want's to offload a prop we could take Eorl Crabtree to help in our future aspirations??
So we can support those two players with respect on the day.
But nevertheless a win is what we need, and that is what we can achieve if we play it right.
Incidently Stuart Fielden never deserved the stick from some of the fans, who let's face it didn't realise why he went to Wigan: ie the club probably saw the £ signs in his and Brian Nobles departure??
Equally Fielden being on the inside could probably see what was to come at Bradford over the next six years

No money a badly managed commercially he not surprisingly moved to secure his financial future

There is a major difference between how he departed the Bulls & what Kopout did

Stuart can come to Odsal & hold his head high the same could not be said for Kopout
[quote][p][bold]raisemeup[/bold] wrote: That's a nice tribute to the "Bulls" from a thoroughly nice bloke with a lot of integrity. When we meet Huddersfield on Sunday we can be proud that Paul Anderson and Stuart Fielden were a product and a legacy of what the Bulls were and will be again to Super League. Perhaps if Paul want's to offload a prop we could take Eorl Crabtree to help in our future aspirations?? So we can support those two players with respect on the day. But nevertheless a win is what we need, and that is what we can achieve if we play it right. Incidently Stuart Fielden never deserved the stick from some of the fans, who let's face it didn't realise why he went to Wigan: ie the club probably saw the £ signs in his and Brian Nobles departure??[/p][/quote]Equally Fielden being on the inside could probably see what was to come at Bradford over the next six years No money a badly managed commercially he not surprisingly moved to secure his financial future There is a major difference between how he departed the Bulls & what Kopout did Stuart can come to Odsal & hold his head high the same could not be said for Kopout mines a pint
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Thu 28 Feb 13

raisemeup says...

Here,Here!!!
Here,Here!!! raisemeup
  • Score: 0

4:48pm Thu 28 Feb 13

dibsy says...

Kopout is absolute disgrace,how he left the club.He let is team mates and the supporters down.I will be booing him every time he touches the ball on Sunday.Has for Fielden he can hold is head up ,he was a legend.CO.Y.B
Kopout is absolute disgrace,how he left the club.He let is team mates and the supporters down.I will be booing him every time he touches the ball on Sunday.Has for Fielden he can hold is head up ,he was a legend.CO.Y.B dibsy
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Thu 28 Feb 13

danger mouse says...

flashdonut wrote:
Fielden is a legend. Kopzcak is a sneaky rat.
Agreed
[quote][p][bold]flashdonut[/bold] wrote: Fielden is a legend. Kopzcak is a sneaky rat.[/p][/quote]Agreed danger mouse
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Thu 28 Feb 13

pww of idle says...

Fielden is still a quality man/player ; as for kopout , he's just a mercenary & most likely will do to the Giants what he did to us , so beware Huddersfield !!!!
Fielden is still a quality man/player ; as for kopout , he's just a mercenary & most likely will do to the Giants what he did to us , so beware Huddersfield !!!! pww of idle
  • Score: 0

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