We can pull off greatest upset of season against Rhinos, believes Bradford Bulls winger (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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We can pull off greatest upset of season against Leeds Rhinos, believes Bradford Bulls winger Jamie Foster
Jamie Foster believes tonight’s visit of arch-rivals Leeds is the perfect opportunity to stop the rot and send out a message to the rest of Super League.
The Rhinos are overwhelming favourites to take the derby honours against a Bradford side who remain on minus two points after five successive defeats.
But Foster is excited at the prospect of producing an upset and believes a win would pour untold confidence into Francis Cummins’ side.
Foster said: “You can’t get a better opportunity than playing Leeds when you’re trying to turn a corner.
“It’s a massive game and if we can perform then I think we would take more confidence out of it than any other fixture in Super League.
“People think ‘Bradford have got it tough at Easter because they’ve got Leeds and Wigan’.
“Yes, we have got it tough but at the same time you can flip it round and be positive about it.
“If we can knock teams like this over then you will have people speaking about Bradford in a totally different way.
“The start of the season hasn’t been fantastic for us but there is a boost that comes with a derby.
“It’s a big opportunity for us and would be massive to beat Leeds, especially when you consider the fantastic form they are in.”
Foster is adamant that Leeds can be beaten tonight and points to their defeat at Langtree Park on March 28, when a St Helens side missing nine players ground out a hard-fought win.
Foster says matching Leeds up front is crucial and the Bulls have been given a boost after coach Brian McDermott opted to rest former Bradford prop Jamie Peacock.
Foster said: “I saw Leeds lose at Saints the other week and gave my opinion on local radio before the game.
“I said that St Helens would need to match Leeds through the middle because the Rhinos have got a big, aggressive pack.
“They are almost like big bullies in the playground – they try and make you do what you don’t want to do.
“To get anywhere you’ve got to stand your ground and that’s what Saints did that night.
“That’s definitely what our pack are going to have to do because if we don’t then it will be curtains for us.
“Leeds have the likes of Brett Delaney, who is a very aggressive player and will try and rough you up.
“But it’s up to our young lads and middle men to stand up to that because you can’t be taking any prisoners – not at this level given what’s at stake.”
Like Foster, Cummins is in positive mood heading into a daunting run of fixtures.
The Bulls coach said: “Even though we haven’t been getting the results, we know we have been improving.
“Probably most of our game is built around putting teams under pressure and trying to ruffle people’s feathers.
“You then start to get them at the right end of the field and have a fair share of the ball – then the game becomes easier.
“For the past few weeks, the opposition have had the ball four or five minutes longer than us.
“Part of that is us making errors or having a leaky defence but we’ve been working really hard on facets of our game to make sure we are in the game and can put teams under pressure. That’s what we’ll be looking to do tonight.”
Tonight’s match sees Rob Burrow makes his 400th appearance for Leeds and Cummins paid tribute to his former Rhinos team-mate, who he believes is the toughest player in Super League pound for pound.
He said: “The first time I saw Rob he was about 14 and half the size he is now.
“You never thought he would get that many games in the first grade.
“These little fellas get hit around the head more often than not but Rob keeps on going and has the heart of a lion. He has proved that many times over the last ten years.
“Leeds’ backline are very young and quick and, now they are putting Rob in the forwards as a nine, then they’ve got an extra threat.
“If they get a roll-on and everything starts to drop into place then you’re going to have a tough day at the office. It’s up to us to deal with that.”
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