Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Mick Potter left to rue Bradford Bulls errors in derby clash
Mick Potter admitted individual errors cost the Bulls dear as they slipped to a 34-16 defeat at rivals Leeds in front of a bumper Headingley crowd of 18,520 last night.
The scores were level at 6-6 at the break after Elliott Whitehead’s superbly-worked try was cancelled out by Kallum Watkins.
Bulls full back Brett Kearney, who had helped to create Whitehead’s early opener and was influential throughout the opening 40 minutes, did not reappear for the second half.
He had taken a knock which led to him suffering from concussion and the game gradually slipped away from the Bulls after the break.
After Watkins scored his second to put Leeds ahead, he then capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Jarrod Sammut and Karl Pryce, who between them failed to deal with a high bomb from Zak Hardaker.
Watkins picked up the loose ball and ushered Shaun Lunt over the line before the Rhinos scored again through Hardaker, with Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield punishing further mistakes in the Bradford rearguard.
Potter said: “Perhaps the score didn’t reflect how the game was. “It was just unfortunate that we came up with a couple of errors at crucial times, resulting in six points each time.
“Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes the other team forces the issue.”
Reflecting on the mix-up between Sammut and Pryce, Potter said: “I spoke to them after the game about that incident.
“Karl said he called and Jarrod said he didn’t hear him but a simple communication breakdown like that burns you.”
Potter picked Sammut ahead of Ben Jeffries and explained: “I just tried Jarrod.
“He had only missed a week and I had been really impressed with what he did against Wigan, so he came back in.
“Jarrod probably broke even tonight with his performance.
“He also showed his ability to break the line and that’s why we brought him to the club.”
The loss of Kearney, Potter acknowledged, was a serious blow to the Bulls.
He added: “Brett got a couple of knocks in the first half and he wasn’t able to come back on. He had concussion and was vomiting at half-time.
“He was very good for us during the first half and came up with some big plays and nice touches. He’s a key player for us.”
Next Sunday’s trip to Warrington could be Potter’s last but the Australian is eagerly awaiting news on whether the Bulls can find a buyer.
Confusion reigns over whether the ABC consortium have tabled a bid to buy the crisis-torn club but Potter said: “I’ll see what happens this week. There’s some talk that something may transpire.”
* The Bulls Under-20s lost 46-8 to Leeds last night, with Rob Hawthorne and Jay Rossi on the scoresheet for a Bradford side featuring Elliot Kear, Jason Crookes and Phil Joseph.