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Bradford Bulls all smiles after welcome win
Francis Cummins could not hide his delight after the Bulls marched to a hard-fought 23-10 victory at Wakefield last night.
Much had been made of the significance of the match beforehand but tries from Adrian Purtell, Brett Kearney, debutant Luke George and Adam O’Brien gave Bradford a thoroughly-deserved success.
The only negative was a knee injury sustained by Lee Gaskell which forced him out of the game in the opening exchanges.
The former St Helens stand-off left Belle Vue on crutches and the seriousness of the injury will be assessed today.
But Cummins said: “I’m really pleased because we’ve talked about our character and the lads have been through a lot.
“Wakefield played well too but we’ve got some people who worked really hard for each other, especially after losing Lee Gaskell so early on.
“It was his knee and a real shame for Lee – but let’s hope it’s not as bad as it could be.
“He’s in a brace at the moment and will have a scan but Danny Addy dropped in and did a good job.
“The short turnaround from Sunday’s game was ridiculous but we don’t make those decisions. It was just a great feeling for the lads afterwards because we’ve not had much to smile about recently.
“But this was a feeling of joy and relief, so good on them because they deserved this.”
Cummins praised the calming influence of captain Matt Diskin and singled out vice-skipper Luke Gale for special praise.
The Bulls boss was also vindicated in his decision to pick George ahead of Elliot Kear, who was dropped from the 17 on duty.
Cummins explained: “Luke made an error but he looked really tough in contact. It was a tough one on Elliot Kear, to be fair, because he needs to improve his game.
“He needs to have a week out to work on that but there is pressure on Jamie Foster now as well.
“I needed Luke to play and get some rugby into him. That’s why we brought these players to the club and if you have a few players competing for one position, then it makes you stronger.”
It is believed the current board of directors have been given the green light to take control of the club on a permanent basis and confirmation is expected today.
Cummins said: “I don’t know – I just coach the team – but I think the lads that are in there have got it, so let’s crack on.”
The Bulls are not in action again until they host London Broncos a week on Sunday.
Cummins reported no other injuries and was also left delighted with the performance of Anthony Mullally on his debut.
The Bulls coach said: “I thought there were a lot of big performances out there for us tonight.”