Purtell tips Bradford Bulls team-mate Gaskell to shine at stand-off (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Adrian Purtell tips Bradford Bulls team-mate Lee Gaskell to shine at stand-off
Adrian Purtell believes Lee Gaskell will prove a worthy successor to Jarrod Sammut in the Bulls’ stand-off role this season.
Despite having one year remaining on his contract at Bradford, Sammut made clear his desire to leave and joined rivals Wakefield for a fee on Friday.
That has raised the tantalising prospect of Sammut, who penned a two-year contract with Richard Agar’s men, making his debut against the Bulls in Thursday’s televised clash at Belle Vue.
But Gaskell showed some promising touches alongside Luke Gale in Sunday’s home defeat to Castleford and Purtell reckons the former St Helens man will continue to flourish.
The Australian centre said: “Jarrod is a very talented player and I wish him all the best but we’ve just got to move on from that now.
“Gasky is playing at No 6 for us and he’s a quality player too.
“I’m looking forward to playing with him this season and you could certainly see his quality against Castleford at the weekend.
“I really rate him. He’s got a bit of everything – he’s fast, he’s strong and has a really good kicking game.”
Bulls coach Francis Cummins is working hard to bolster his squad following the departure of Sammut and Garreth Carvell, with the acquisition of at least one new forward his priority.
Cummins confirmed on Sunday that Matty Blythe could be sidelined for up to another month as he recovers from an operation to repair ligaments in his thumb.
Dale Ferguson has been troubled by a back problem but it is hoped he will be back in action within the next fortnight.
On the double departure of Sammut and Carvell, Purtell added: “We didn’t know what was happening so we can’t control any of that but it’s been like that the whole time.
“We’ve just been training hard and we’re looking forward to showing that on the field.
“I guess it’s going to be strange if Jarrod plays against us on Thursday considering we were training with him last week.
“The focus for us now is making life easier for ourselves by not making crucial errors.
“We started Sunday’s game really well and showed that, like last year, we’re going to be a really hard-working team.
“But we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and it’s a short turnaround to Wakefield on Thursday.
“With a small squad, everyone has to be on board and work hard for each other.
“We’ve got that bit covered so we just need to work on the finer things now such as skills and make sure we get it right at Wakey.”
An RFL spokesman confirmed yesterday that the Bulls will learn whether they will be docked Super League points by the end of this week.