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Bradford Bulls backed to raise standards at Magic Weekend
Francis Cummins has backed his players to provide the right response when the Bulls face Huddersfield in their Magic Weekend showdown on Sunday.
The 50-0 defeat to St Helens left Bradford eight points adrift of third-bottom Wakefield but Cummins is confident his men can reproduce the form they showed in recent victories over Catalan and Warrington.
“We can’t wait to play Huddersfield, to be fair, and it would be huge to get a result this weekend,” said the head coach.
“We know our standards were too low against St Helens but you immediately look to the next challenge.
“We’ve got to be confident that we’re not that far away because we had showed our quality in the previous two weeks.
“Sunday went away from us after a personnel change and we had a number of players missing. But we’ve got to confront that and be better than we were.”
Cummins is hoping to have Luke Gale, Manase Manuokafoa and James Donaldson back from injury this weekend.
“They are on my board in the ‘hopeful’ column and we’ll see how they go in the next few days,” he said.
“Until something drops into your lap, then I’m constantly asking other coaches – but I can’t hold my breath because the dynamics have changed,” he said.
“We’ve won a couple of games and other teams have lost a couple, so it’s not easy.”
Cummins will be without on-loan Huddersfield prop Antonio Kaufusi on Sunday as he is ineligible to face his parent club.
Huddersfield will be boosted by the return of former Bulls forward Brett Ferres after a five-game ban and Anthony Mullally looks certain to play against the club where he enjoyed a successful loan spell earlier in the season.
Giants coach Paul Anderson said: “Anthony playing for Bradford benefited all parties and now it’s Kaufusi’s turn to get some game-time under his belt.
“Once the month is up, I’ll talk to him, but the door is not closed on him at Huddersfield by any stretch of the imagination.”
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