Defence key for Bulls as St Hilaire calls for repeat show

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Bradford Bulls have been challenged to emulate last weekend’s stunning win over St Helens when Salford City Reds visit Odsal tomorrow in Stobart Super League.

For Bulls’ assistant coach Leigh St Hilaire believes Bradford’s win over Saints – which ultimately cost Royce Simmons his coaching job – was founded on a solid defence and has called for more of the same tomorrow.

Tries from the impressive Elliott Whitehead and Karl Pryce secured the points, Paul Sykes’s two conversions proving decisive in a 12-8 triumph.

Victory pushed the Bulls into seventh spot in Super League, after four wins from their opening seven games, as they chase a top-eight play-off finish this season.

“I think it has cemented the things we have put in place and it has given more confidence to this group of boys because St Helens are a good side and they went out there, dug deep and came away with the two points,” said St Hilaire.

“From a coaching point I think we were most pleased with our defence. We defended very well because they threw a lot at us – as Saints always do – but we dealt with it all and with a minute to go we were leading 12-4, which was very pleasing.

“Saints had their injuries and we had ours and when you look at who wasn’t available we certainly did well and we certainly combated what they offered.

“We are happy with where we are but we are not sat around patting each other on the back, thinking the job is done. It’s only Round Seven and there are things that we need to work on and that’s a continual progress. We’ll keep on working hard and striving to get better.”

St Hilaire believes the Bulls need to be wary of the threat of Salford trio Daniel Holdsworth, Luke Patten and Smith.

“The expectations are high after beating Saints but we can’t get carried away by that,” he said. “We take every game on its merits and in its own right.

“Daniel Holdsworth is the player who is right at the top of the Tip Sheet. He is the one that’s running them around the field and he’s got Luke Patten hanging off his arm and we know that whereever he goes the threat is going to be there or thereabouts.”

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats host Catalan Dragons as they look to end a five-game losing streak, and welcome back centre Dean Collis after suffering with a hamstring strain.

Brett Hodgson kicked a late penalty as Warrington beat Wigan 22-20 last night to go top of Super League.

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