Rest cure vital for Bradford Bulls after Wake-up call against St Helens (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Rest cure vital for Bradford Bulls after Wake-up call against St Helens
Mick Potter was asked on Thursday lunchtime whether giving his squad a week off would benefit them heading into tomorrow’s visit of Wakefield.
After the 54-0 reverse at St Helens a fortnight ago, Potter and many of his players enjoyed several days in sunnier climes throughout Europe last week.
It was a chance for Potter’s battle-weary squad to rest aching limbs and shelve concerns over the club’s future, albeit temporarily, ahead of the encounter with the Wildcats.
“Everyone seems to be reinvigorated . . . but I’ll tell you on Sunday afternoon whether it worked or not,” said Potter, who spent a few days in the south of France.
“This week has allowed us to work on some things we were very poor at against St Helens. We had a lot of work to do defensively.
“Saints were good on the night but we were poor. Defensively we have had a big week, and we’d like to make amends for that.
Everyone seems to be reinvigorated . . . but I’ll tell you on Sunday afternoon whether it worked or notMick Potter
“It would have been nice to back up the next week and show we are a bit better than what we showed at Saints but we have had to wait a couple of weeks, and it’s good that it’s at Odsal . “It’s a pretty important game for us.”
Wakefield have enjoyed some impressive form of late, with on-loan Bulls player Paul Sykes emerging as a key figure in Richard Agar’s side.
Sykes was sent out on loan to Wakefield earlier this year after struggling for regular first-team rugby.
Potter paid tribute to the utility man, saying: “Sykesy is a player with good skill.
“He was in a position here where he was behind Keith Lulia and Adrian Purtell in the centres, so if he wanted to play then he probably needed to find somewhere else.
“He’s a Super League player, no doubt about, but we had other centres who I felt could do the job for us.
“We also had a scrum half and a stand-off who I felt could do a job there as well.
“Rather than sit on the bench or wait for someone to get injured, Sykesy took an opportunity to play every week.
“He’s playing No 6 at Wakefield and doing a good job for them.”
Wakefield lost at Leeds on Monday to end their three-match winning run.
Potter, whose men won at Wakefield earlier in the season, added: “They’re a good team who probably leak a few points on occasions, but they’re resilient too.
"We found it very tough to score against them in our previous outing.
"They leaked 44 points at Leeds but they scored 40 as well, so they’re not too far away.
“We’ve done our homework on them and they have some great players who come up with some good plays. “Tim Smith pushes them round the park; Richie Mathers at full back is playing well and they have some good centres that test you round the edges.
"They also have some big forwards who run and hit you hard.
“Paul Aiton goes well for them and I think they are a really dangerous team for us.”