Super League (Sunday): Bradford Bulls coach Mick Potter believes his squad have the ability to frustrate the free-flowing rugby of Wigan Warriors tomorrow.
Potter, who knows all about the champions’ style after falling to them as St Helens chief in last season’s Grand Final, is looking forward to the prospect of testing his players at Odsal.
With Wigan reeling after squandering a 16-point lead to draw against Saints in Cardiff last week, there are signs they are fallible while Bradford impressed against the odds before their heart-breaking last-ditch loss versus Leeds.
“When Wigan get into good ball areas they are certainly very difficult to stop,” said Potter.
“In attack they are very flamboyant and really get their noses down quick and dive to the ground, quite often to try and win the ruck.
“We have to make sure we have a good tackle technique to kill that and we’ve been working on that this week.
“We have also got to try and stop their off-loads, but I am very enthusiastic and there are some really good signs to take into it.”
Potter insists his squad did not need lifting after last week’s gut-wrenching 32-28 loss when they frittered away their own 18-point advantage.
“They were all very optimistic afterwards because they all knew they could improve on that performance,” he said.
“It was all there in the footage we showed them and they came up real good.
“We just fell down and got a little scratchy when the guys got tired.
“That’s what fatigue does; you drop your skill and you drop your talk and we just need to up the ante in those stakes when the pressure’s on.”
Bulls are without Jamie Langley who could be missing for up to six weeks due to a shoulder injury suffered in Cardiff, while luckless scrum-half Kyle Briggs, who made such a promising Super League debut there, is missing for a similar timescale having endured knee ligament damage.
Marc Herbert is also still unfit but Potter can utilise the creative services of England international Paul Sykes who was overlooked against Leeds.
Hull Kingston Rovers head to Warrington bidding to quickly add to their opening night win over Hull FC.
Their opponents are hurting, in contrast, after a disappointing defeat to Huddersfield in Cardiff and Rovers chief Justin Morgan is expecting a response.
“They will be a tough proposition,” he said.
“A lot of people are tipping them to go all the way and rightly so because they’ve got a good squad who have been together for a number of years now.
“It’ll be a good test. We’ve got some parts of our game that we need to improve but we’ll be going there nice and confident, without being over-confident, that we can compete.”