Francis Cummins wants Bradford Bulls to double up in league and cup

Bulls coach Francis Cummins aims to keep the current good feeling at the club going

Bulls coach Francis Cummins aims to keep the current good feeling at the club going

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

Francis Cummins believes the Bulls can not only stay in Super League but also launch a sustained assault on the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.

Bradford are expected to breeze past Championship One part-timers Oldham in tomorrow’s fourth-round home tie.

But Cummins insists he is not prioritising top-flight survival over progress in rugby league’s famous old knockout competition – he wants success on both fronts.

The Bulls head coach said: “I’m not thinking ‘at the top of my list is surviving relegation’ because I’m fully confident in this group of players that we can stay up, even in the position we are in, and get better and better.

“At the moment I’m looking for a little bit more momentum and confidence from this weekend’s game – but while you’re in it you want to win it.

“The Challenge Cup takes our minds off being on minus two points so we can focus on something else for a week and get what we can out of it.

“The bigger picture is that I’m not looking too far ahead, I’m just looking to keep this good feeling going and continue the momentum.

“Eventually, one of the teams outside the top four gets to the Challenge Cup final. Why not this year?

“We just need to get the job done and make sure we are in the fifth-round draw on Sunday.

“We were able to get some good ball and show some real skill last week at Widnes after we had made some metres and gained some decent field position.

“We were probably a decision or tap back away from winning the game, so it’s just about building on that.”

Cummins is poised to hand debuts to Jamal Fakir and fit-again Dale Ferguson, while rookie prop Sam Bates looks set to feature too.

The Bulls boss played in five Challenge Cup finals during his long career at Leeds – the first as a 17-year-old in 1994 and the last against Bradford in 2003 – and he admits he is an old romantic.

“It’s still the showcase of our game and gains the focus of the national media, especially with the final being played in London,” said Cummins.

“It has the tradition and the history, so it’s a great opportunity for everyone to make their mark on the competition. I’ve experienced it both as a player and a coach and it’s still special.”

Cummins was barely out of school when he played in the 1994 final at Wembley, which Leeds lost to Wigan.

He recalled: “I was 17 and it was a bit of a whirlwind. I still remember bits of it – I seem to remember all the freebies that we got … new boots, trainers and everything! It’s something that they can never take away from you.

“To beat London in 1999 was great and was third time lucky for me. We started off really slowly but eventually ran away with it and to get a winners’ medal was huge.

“I had lost in a couple of finals and a number of semi-finals, so it was getting a bit frustrating. To finally get that victory was brilliant.”

Cummins, meanwhile, says he has respect for Oldham and will not underestimate Scott Naylor’s side.

“Scott and I have spoken about maybe getting something going with Oldham further down the line in terms of a partnership,” he said.

“With the way the game is, we have a group of 20-year-olds who can’t play anywhere, so maybe that’s another avenue for us.

“If we get off to a good start this weekend then there are things we can do as the game progresses – but we won’t be underestimating Oldham.”

The Bulls coach, having signed Fakir this month, said the search for further new recruits was ongoing.

“There are always things happening and we are trawling all over for players, including the NRL market, but I’m not expecting anything else to be done before the Salford game next week,” said Cummins.

“But with the ownership having been sorted and Jamal having signed, it feels like things are going in the right direction.

“I know things are happening here. A few things have dropped in place but hopefully there will be a few more now.”

Comments (11)

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8:12am Sat 5 Apr 14

king karl says...

Forget the cup
Forget the cup king karl
  • Score: -14

8:33am Sat 5 Apr 14

Bowlingboy says...

king karl wrote:
Forget the cup
Why do that? Theres money to be earned and momentum to gain.
Should never play any game or competition to loose.
[quote][p][bold]king karl[/bold] wrote: Forget the cup[/p][/quote]Why do that? Theres money to be earned and momentum to gain. Should never play any game or competition to loose. Bowlingboy
  • Score: 21

10:20am Sat 5 Apr 14

bully4us says...

Winning can become a habit. A win tomorrow will do the club good and put a smile back on everyone's face.
Looks like we have other irons in the fire but they will take a couple of weeks to be ready to be announced. Could be from Oz as that usually takes time for the paperwork to get done.
Winning can become a habit. A win tomorrow will do the club good and put a smile back on everyone's face. Looks like we have other irons in the fire but they will take a couple of weeks to be ready to be announced. Could be from Oz as that usually takes time for the paperwork to get done. bully4us
  • Score: 10

10:31am Sat 5 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy
With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy axelf1963
  • Score: -19

12:00pm Sat 5 Apr 14

raisemeup says...

Interesting experiment SL versus Championship, a bit like the RFL are proposing for the 2015 competition, we can see by the results what a success it will be?
Good experience for the Championship, but turns off the fans in large numbers.
It is acceptable in a knock out comp. like the challenge cup, and the crowd figures are usually testament to that, but as a league structure like the 2x12s with a middle 8 or whatever it's meant to be, what a gamble????
Still we have to progress in whatever way we can, so COYB.
Interesting experiment SL versus Championship, a bit like the RFL are proposing for the 2015 competition, we can see by the results what a success it will be? Good experience for the Championship, but turns off the fans in large numbers. It is acceptable in a knock out comp. like the challenge cup, and the crowd figures are usually testament to that, but as a league structure like the 2x12s with a middle 8 or whatever it's meant to be, what a gamble???? Still we have to progress in whatever way we can, so COYB. raisemeup
  • Score: 5

1:27pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Videoref says...

You play EVERY game to win. If you hold back or go half hearted at it
a) you lose and
b) you get injured.
COYB-Let's see some good teamwork tomorrow and give us something to cheer about
You play EVERY game to win. If you hold back or go half hearted at it a) you lose and b) you get injured. COYB-Let's see some good teamwork tomorrow and give us something to cheer about Videoref
  • Score: 6

4:52pm Sat 5 Apr 14

side of beef says...

axelf1963 wrote:
With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy
What's your problem have you escaped from a home or r u on day release
[quote][p][bold]axelf1963[/bold] wrote: With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy[/p][/quote]What's your problem have you escaped from a home or r u on day release side of beef
  • Score: 7

5:36pm Sat 5 Apr 14

The Man From the Pru says...

axelf1963 wrote:
With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy
Side of Beef, Axel has neither escaped or been let out on day release from a home. Reason, he's beyond help, no asylum will have him.

Viking says thanks again Axel, for keeping his name out there,
[quote][p][bold]axelf1963[/bold] wrote: With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy[/p][/quote]Side of Beef, Axel has neither escaped or been let out on day release from a home. Reason, he's beyond help, no asylum will have him. Viking says thanks again Axel, for keeping his name out there, The Man From the Pru
  • Score: 2

8:39am Sun 6 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

The Viking can see his name whenever wants if he looks on the right register
The Viking can see his name whenever wants if he looks on the right register axelf1963
  • Score: -3

10:49pm Sun 6 Apr 14

bradfordbronco says...

axelf1963 wrote:
With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy
see that Axelf1963 is talking about viking again. wake me up when he's finished being so boring zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
[quote][p][bold]axelf1963[/bold] wrote: With caisley, hood. And noble all nearing return will my old mate Viking be happy[/p][/quote]see that Axelf1963 is talking about viking again. wake me up when he's finished being so boring zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz bradfordbronco
  • Score: 1

10:10am Wed 9 Apr 14

fedupwiththeBS says...

As we are languishing at the bottom of the league would it not be wise just to concentrate on avoiding relegation this season?

We now have the Dragons in the next round which is always a game we pick up injuries in and as we have not got the largest squad surely it makes sense to prioritise survival?
As we are languishing at the bottom of the league would it not be wise just to concentrate on avoiding relegation this season? We now have the Dragons in the next round which is always a game we pick up injuries in and as we have not got the largest squad surely it makes sense to prioritise survival? fedupwiththeBS
  • Score: 0

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