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Francis Cummins calls for more quality from Bradford Bulls
Bulls coach Francis Cummins admitted his side lacked quality as champions Leeds romped to a 42-22 win at the Provident Stadium last night.
Cummins could not fault the desire of his players but conceded they could not live with the Rhinos during a first half in which Bradford fell 30-6 behind.
Leeds never looked back after opening up a 12-0 lead inside six minutes thanks to tries from Kallum Watkins and Mitch Achurch.
Prop Ryan Bailey marked his return from a four-match ban with his first try of the season, centre Carl Ablett touched down twice and captain Kevin Sinfield kicked seven goals from as many attempts on his 450th appearance for the club.
The result marked a third straight defeat for the Bulls and Cummins said: “They were too good for us at the start.
“The lads probably looked a bit nervous before and you can’t afford to give Leeds four tries.
“We probably had one or two players off tonight and, while I’m happy with the character we showed, we need more quality.”
On-loan Warrington prop Ben Evans marked his home debut with a first-half try and a second-half fightback saw winger Elliot Kear scored twice and Brett Kearney touch down.
After seeing his side lose to Wigan, Warrington and Leeds in their last three Super League outings, Cummins insisted: “We’ve hit the wall in terms of results but I think we’re okay.
“We haven’t got too many injuries and just need to dust ourselves off and get ready for London in the cup next week.”
Leeds coach Brian McDermott watched his side move up to third place in the table but says he is not getting carried away by their recent run of form.
The reigning champions are just four points behind leaders Wigan with two games in hand after extending their unbeaten run to eight matches, a far cry from last year when they were outside the top six.
“It doesn’t take much to be miles ahead of where we were last year,” said McDermott.
“We’re reasonably happy with where we are but things can quickly turn and we’re not going to get carried away.
“We’re 12 games in so there is half a season to go before we start to think how it looks in terms of the play-offs.
“We looked impressive for periods, in that first half especially, but we knew this game was going to be a fight at some stage and there were spells when they made a contest of it.
“In the second half you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Bradford, who threw a lot at us, but I thought we were very good. Things are working for us at the moment. They’re making that extra effort.”
McDermott dropped a hint that veteran prop Kylie Leuluai would be offered a new contract after revealing in the week that he wanted to postpone his retirement plans for a second time.
“Kylie is looking as fit and strong and rejuvenated as we’ve seen for a while,” he said.
“He wants another year and, however old he says he is, he’s got another 18 months in him. He’s looking really good.”
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