Cummins: Wigan will be real test

  • Last Updated: April 13 2013, 13:20 BST

Bradford coach Francis Cummins expects to find out how good his team really are when Super League leaders Wigan visit Odsal on Sunday.

Francis Cummins: Prepares for Wigan clash
Francis Cummins: Prepares for Wigan clash

The Bulls have been arguably the success story of the season so far, losing just three of their first 11 games to sit third in the table going into the weekend, despite Cummins being forced to operate on a shoestring budget in his first season as head coach.

Bradford became the first team to defeat Huddersfield and held champions Leeds to a draw at Headingley but Cummins admits the clash with Wigan will provide the true benchmark of his side's ability to match it with the big guns, on and off the field.

"Of course we are happy with the work we have put in but we can't think we are doing all right and sit back," he said.

"We have to have a real crack at these and see where we are. We had a real good Easter and this is the next big challenge. It doesn't come any bigger, does it?

"If we are going to carry on with this, we're going to have to be beating these teams.

"As a club, too, we need to see where we are. I'd love to see a big crowd here. I am really proud to be part of what is happening at the club.

"There is a great buzz and real achievement taking place and you want people to be part of it.

"Some of our fans from previous years may not have been here in the early rounds but I urge them to come along on Sunday and see what will be a great game. They can really create a great atmosphere."

Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin, who is one of five internationals returning for the leaders, has not been surprised by the Bulls' performances this season.

"You only have to look at the team to see a lot of quality players," O'Loughlin said.

"They have good size and personnel who are dangerous with the ball in hand. We have done our homework on them and we will need to turn up and perform if we are to get the win."

Wakefield's Richard Agar is another coach looking for his team to rise to the challenge when Tony Smith's Warrington visit the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.

The Wolves have won their last six meetings with the Wildcats, including three away from home, but Agar insists his players have nothing to fear.

"Smithy has turned them into a powerhouse in the game," Agar said. "Some of the individuals in their team are outstanding.

"But that's the challenge that is in front of us and it's one that holds no fear.

"Rising to play the best teams in the competition, particularly at home, is something we can look forward to."

Smith is determined his players will not underestimate their opponents.

"They are a very dangerous team," he said. "Anybody who has seen them play this year has seen that danger."

Warrington's teenage hooker Brad Dwyer will make his debut for Huddersfield against Hull KR at the John Smith's Stadium after joining the Giants on a month's loan.

"Brad will add some freshness in and around the middle of the field for us," said Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson.

"He is a bundle of energy, a competitor and he is what we need. We need to hold a bit of energy in the park and he can do it so I must thank Tony Smith and Warrington for that."

Graeme Horne misses out on a return to Huddersfield after suffering a fractured cheekbone in Rovers' win over St Helens last Sunday but Greg Eden, David Hodgson, Keal Carlile, Alex Brown and Adam Walker all face their old club.


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