Bradford troubles have brought Bulls together, says Cummings

Have your say

Bradford assistant coach Francis Cummings admits their financial troubles have brought the club closer together after they eased into the Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round with a 72-6 thumping of Doncaster.

The Championship One side – two divisions below the Bulls – scored first but then proved powerless to prevent their Super League hosts running riot with 13 unanswered tries.

The cash-strapped Bulls are still battling to find £1m to stay in business and Cummings commended performances on the pitch which have also led to victories over Leeds and Widnes.

He said: “It’s the one part of our lives that we can control.

“We can’t control the way the club is or what will happen in the next month or even if we are going to get paid or not.

“But we can control the way we train and play, and it (the adversity) has really brought us together – this is a great place to be at the moment.”

Bulls were shocked to find themselves behind after barely a minute after spilling the kick off and watching Russ Spiers charge over for the visitors, with Kieran Hyde adding the conversion.

But Cummings insisted that probably kick-started their afternoon’s work, saying: “It was a wake-up call for us – we made an error dropping the ball from the kick-off and were just soft there. We toughened up a little after that so it probably helped us more than it helped them.

“We knew they would come hard at the start but we were poor and not happy with the try.

“It kicked us into gear, our ears pricked up a bit and off we went.”

Bulls were behind less than two minutes and ahead after eight as loose forward Elliott Whitehead and Ben Jeffries scored tries in quick succession, both converted by stand-in kicker Danny Addy.

Whitehead and acting full-back Shaun Ainscough went on to score hat-tricks, while centre Keith Lulia and hooker Matt Diskin grabbed braces.

There were also tries for impressive running forwards John Bateman and Craig Kopczak, while Addy finished with 10 goals.

Defeated coach Tony Miller was quick to concede that his team were largely powerless to stop the rampant Bulls.

He said: “They were too big and too strong and we knew coming into the game that it would be a massive test to try and handle the physicality.

“We couldn’t handle them out of the ruck – they were too big and powerful and got on a roll.

“I felt Bradford played exceptionally well and have some potential international players coming through – like Bateman and (Tom) Burgess.

“In a couple of years time I think they could be monsters in the game.”

Bradford: Purtell, Platt, Whitehead, Lulia, Ainscough, Addy, Jeffries, Manuokafoa, Diskin, Hargreaves, Elima, Olbison, Langley. Substitutes: Windley, Burgess, Kopczak, Bateman.

Doncaster: Butterfield, Colton, Spurr, Waterman, Hodson, Edwards, Hyde, Castle, Ely, Spires, Lawton, Kelly, Robinson. Substitutes: Welsh, Bibb, Kesik, Sanderson.

Referee: J Leahy (RLF)