Never write off Rhinos, says Cummins as he runs rule over Grand Final contenders (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Never write off Rhinos, says Francis Cummins as he runs rule over Grand Final contenders
Francis Cummins believes Warrington are well placed to claim their first Super League title – but is refusing to write off Leeds’ hopes of retaining their crown.
The second week of the play-offs gets underway tonight when Huddersfield host Hull at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Rhinos then face St Helens tomorrow evening at Headingley, with the winners of the two ties facing Warrington or Wigan depending on which team Wolves coach Tony Smith picks in the controversial ClubCall system.
Warrington thrashed Leeds 40-20 last Saturday and Cummins believes a long-awaited Super League title could soon be theirs.
The Bulls coach said: “I think Warrington will be the team to beat but I’d always be reluctant to back against Leeds because of their recent record.
“You saw the Rhinos get spanked against Warrington at the weekend but they had produced a great performance at Wigan in the final game of the regular season.
“I can’t see Hull beating Huddersfield tonight and it depends which Leeds turns up against Saints tomorrow.
“The Rhinos aren’t flowing as well as they have been in previous years and I’m not sure about their attack.
“You saw their defence at Wigan, though, and they didn’t give them an inch.
“You would back Leeds to beat Saints but they’re going to have to play a lot better than last week.
“I’d say Warrington are favourites but Leeds have won five of the last six Grand Finals so you can never write them off.”
The Bulls missed out on the play-offs for the fifth year in succession after Hull KR pipped them to eighth spot before being dumped out by St Helens at the first hurdle last weekend.
Cummins added: “It’s tough to take because we are good enough to be in the top eight.
“Hull KR didn’t play well on Saturday but they have done more against the top four than we have, so they deserved to be in there.
“We tapered off but you would like to think that, if we’d had a bigger squad this season, we could have got in there and given Saints a better go.
“Because we didn’t have the numbers, injuries affect your squad. That’s the nature of the game – it’s not a fair competition. If it was, we would all have the same number of players.
“But we’ve got to battle against that and once this team kicks on, we will get in there.
“Once you’re in there, you can start to re-establish yourself because the ones who dominate it have been in there for the last ten years.”
Meanwhile, the Bulls are offering a number of incentives to supporters who buy season tickets before October 4 and Cummins added: “It’s brilliant to see so many supporters buying into what we are working hard to achieve on and off the field.”
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