Bradford Bulls v Hull FC: Lowes rejects Hull’s chances of top-eight

BRADFORD Bulls head coach James Lowes says Hull FC have no chance of reaching the Super League play-offs.

Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes

His side, already relegated but buoyed by consecutive wins over champions Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos, host the Airlie Birds tomorrow.

Hull are five points behind eighth-placed Widnes Vikings with four games remaining.

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They have drawn with Challenge Cup finalists Castleford Tigers and defeated league leaders St Helens in their last two outings.

But, when asked if they can steal into the play-offs, Lowes replied: “No.

“You need a certain amount of form and you can’t just switch it on and off.

“Their form has been too up and down and I wouldn’t imagine they will make the eight.”

Lowes won everything there is to win in the game alongside Hull head coach Lee Radford when they were pack colleagues at Odsal between 1998 and 2003.

Radford, still only 35, has had a difficult first campaign in charge at KC Stadium but his former team-mate added: “He’s a good lad.

“Radders was a good player and he’s been coaching for a few years now – I think he did a bit in rugby union in Hull and he’s had a lot to do with the amateur clubs out there.

“He knows the game and he’s a top bloke, so obviously I wish him all the very best for his future in coaching.

“He’s a bloke who most people will like and I certainly do.”

Lowes sees captain Matt Diskin, ex-Hull loanee winger Jamie Foster and Australian full-back Brett Kearney return to his squad replacing Jamal Fakir, Alex Mellor and Nathan Conroy.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” he said,

“Having last weekend off has freshened the lads up and they’ve had a couple of tough days’ training. We’re ready to crack on again now. Strong performances usually lead to wins as you’ve seen in our last couple of games.

“I’m not chasing the wins, it’s just about playing well and the results will come on the back of that.”

The visitors, meanwhile, make just two changes with Jordan Thompson and the injured Aaron Heremaia dropping out, James Cunningham and Jordan Rankin back in.

Radford admitted: “I said after the Saints game we’ve got a two-week period to build up for the Bulls.

“I’ve been really pleased with how they’ve trained and I’ve had 22 fit players to pick from.”