Potter tries to get Bradford’s minds back in focus after Purtell’s scare

Have your say

Many thoughts will turn to stricken Adrian Purtell when Bradford Bulls host Castleford Tigers in the televised Monday night fixture at Odsal.

Bradford’s Australian centre is recovering after suffering a heart-attack following Sunday’s loss against Leeds Rhinos.

It remains unclear whether he will ever be able to make a return to playing action.

However, despite the traumatic sight of seeing a colleague in such distress, coach Mick Potter knows he has to quickly refocus his squad’s attention on to the field for this West Yorkshire derby.

Bradford have slipped outside of the play-off places with that Leeds loss but trail Hull KR – who face high-flying Warrington – only by points difference.

“If you lose the previous week it makes it more important to get a win,” admitted Potter, who significantly is also without four players injured against Rhinos.

“The two points can slip through your fingers very quickly, so we need to grasp those.

“If we lose another couple we will slip further out of the eight – we are in ninth at the moment – and we want to get back in there and hold our place.”

Castleford, meanwhile, are low on confidence and results, a 70-12 record Super League defeat at Hull KR compounded by a narrow reverse against Wakefield.

Their coach Ian Millward has tried relieving the pressure on Rangi Chase, the reigning Man of Steel who so often provides the majority of Tigers’ attacking intent.

“I can understand that,” admitted Potter, whose side won 20-12 at a snow-covered Castleford in February.

“There are 12 other players on the field and if every single big play goes through Rangi then it makes them a bit predictable.

“Danny Orr is a good foil for him and having him there gives them a sort of double-barrel.

“At least the conditions will be better than last time; we won’t have to clear the snow off the pitch.

“I am looking forward to playing it in good conditions and we should have a good, open game.”