Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins believes his side are set to face the best Hull KR team yet to grace Super League.
Although the Robins have struggled for form this season, they arrive at Odsal tomorrow seeking a third consecutive victory and aiming to dent high-flying Bradford’s own progress.
Michael Dobson is, ordinarily, a key man for the visitors but Cummins says they are no longer a one-man team and are a stronger outfit than ever before since earning promotion in 2006.
“It used to be if you stopped Dobson you stopped Hull KR but that’s not the case now,” he said.
“He is a special player. His kicking game and the way he gets them around the field is important and they have Travis Burns available too, so they now have a twin threat. They have a big pack that get them going forward and they have Greg Eden in there too.
“Eden can do something from nothing. I just think they’re a much better balanced side than they have ever been; good backs and a big pack.”
Dynamic full-back Eden was excellent as Rovers followed up their win over Warrington with victory at London Broncos but Cummins is concentrating primarily on his own squad which is severely tested tomorrow.
The availability of teenage second-row John Bateman – who joins up with the England ETS squad after the match – following major shoulder surgery and Australian centre Adrian Purtell, who is back for the first time since suffering a heart attack last May, is offset by the loss of key trio Jamie Langley, Matt Diskin and Matty Blythe.
Teenage centre Sam Wood is called up for the first time and Cummins, whose side were third heading into this round, admitted: “ We have a small squad so it’s a blow for us.
“We have quite a gap with our young players because although they are all very good they are very, very young.
“We knew in November we would have to bring them into the squad because there weren’t too many players around at that time and we had budgets to adhere to.
“But in times like these you have to put your hand up and you can learn a lot about yourself and your players in these situations.
“Hopefully, the injuries won’t be too long term and we can be pretty strong for the Easter games that are coming up.”
Bradford are still smarting after letting a big lead slip at Widnes Vikings last week, eventually drawing 22-22 while Rovers – despite being eighth – were the highest-scoring side in Super League after six rounds.
“They are using the ball quite well whereas in the past they were just happy to try and get back-to-back sets,” added Cummins.
“But they are showing some good things particularly at their opponents’ end of the field.”