Bradford Bulls 60 Oldham 6: Fakir set for swift reunion as Bulls romp to victory

Bradford Bulls' new signing Jamal Fakir.
Bradford Bulls' new signing Jamal Fakir.
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Francis Cummins praised the presence of debutants Jamil Fakir and Dale Ferguson as Bradford eased past Oldham to earn a fifth-round Challenge Cup tie at home to Catalan Dragons.

Fakir only joined from the French club last week after contemplating retirement, while former Huddersfield back-rower Ferguson has been sidelined since sustaining a back injury pre-season – but both played significant roles in the Bulls’ 60-6 victory over the Championship 1 Roughyeds.

Bulls boss Cummins smiled at the thought of Fakir, who left Catalan in acrimonious circumstances, getting stuck into his former team-mates, and said: “Jamal’s burnt a few emotions this week and it was good for him to get back on the field.

“Just to get in and playing again he’s burnt some cobwebs off too but he’s got a lot of experience and knows that, whether it’s Catalan or someone else, it’s his job to put emotions aside and push us forward.

“If they get near him, he’s got to belt them and that doesn’t matter whether they are in a Catalan shirt, a Salford shirt or a Leeds shirt.

“He’s been training on his own but there’s nothing like playing and he was blowing a bit,” he added.

The France international came on for two short spells while Ferguson started and had a storming game – almost converting a 50-metre break into a try, before finally touching down for his first for the Bulls two minutes from time to hoist the 60-point mark.

The Super League Bulls scored 11 tries to put out Oldham, two divisions below them, with scrum-half Luke Gale amassing 28 points through a hat-trick and eight conversions.

Winger Elliot Kear claimed a brace and there were further tries for Brett Kearney, Adam O’Brien, Danny Addy, Adam Henry, Jamie Foster and Ferguson.

Impressive hooker Kenny Hughes replied to Oldham with an opportunist try – darting over from close range – midway through the first half for the plucky part-timers and their coach Scott Naylor showed nothing but pride for his squad.

Bradford Bulls: Kearney, Wood, Purtell, Henry, Kear, Addy, Gale, Manuokafoa, O’Brien, Walker, Ferguson, Blythe, Donaldson. Substitutes: Foster, Roberts, Conroy, Fakir.

Oldham: Whitehead, Agoro, Wood, Gee, Bloomfield, Palfrey, Robinson, Waine, Whitmore, Boults, Crawley, Langtree,
Hobson. Substitutes: Joy, Mooney, Hughes, Tyson.

Referee: C Leatherbarrow (RFL).