ENGAGE Super League Champions Bradford Bulls have today that former Leeds Rhinos winger Marcus Bai will join the club for the 2006 season.
IN one of the biggest signings in the club's history, Bradford Bulls legend ROBBIE PAUL has joined the Huddersfield Giants.
BRADFORD Bulls have received a major boost ahead of Saturday?s engage Super League Elimination Semi Final with the news that New Zealand centre Shontayne Hape has signed a new contract with the club and will remain at Odsal until the end of the 2008 season.
MORLEY arrives at Odsal
IN this weeks Bulls Eye, coach Brian Noble looks ahead to Friday's Super League Round 25 game at Headingley when the two West Yorkshire giants, the Bulls and the Rhinos meet in the biggest derby in northern hemisphere rugby!!!
This is a big game and a big test of how we are going towards the end of the season?
Brian Noble: These are the very biggest games in the Super League and they excite players, coaches, officials and spectators alike. The atmosphere and the passion are what make them special for everyone. Leeds are very much the form team of the competition and are already set for a big day out next week in Cardiff. They have strength in every position and some of their players are playing right at the top of their game, so it is going to be difficult for us to go there ad get a result but we will be trying very hard to achieve that. Realistically we are looking to try and finish as high as possible in the table and third place is achievable but to do that we have to keep on winning and keep the momentum going so the two points at Headingley are certainly our goal tomorrow. We don't set those goals but I am sure the players will have it in their minds that it is possible for us to finish third and, as professionals, they will want to achieve that.
Leeds are playing very well at the moment?
Brian Noble: They are and they have a lot of players right on top of their game. McGuire has come back from a difficult season and shown he is back to his very best and Burrow comes on from the bench and gets them going forward. Marcus Bai and Keith Senior have really got a good partnership on the left and that's where Ali Lauti'iti plays and he is dangerous with his offloads. In the pack, Bailey and Ward are setting the platform and Barrie McDermott is playing well. McKenna and Jones-Buchanan work very hard and Sinfield is back in the side, so it is a well balanced outfit. I don't think they will have one eye on the final either because Tony Smith doesn't coach that way. If they are thinking about that and are off their game they may find they will be out for Cardiff, so they will be focused.
Were you happy with the way you played last week?
Brian Noble: Well we did some good things but I thought there was a lot of room for improvement. I am sure Leeds will have looked at the tape and see areas where they could exploit us so the focus this week has been on improving in certain areas. As you come to what is known as the business end of the season then it is all about gathering momentum and we have shown signs, both with the ball and in defence, that we are playing more like we know we can and should be.
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Squad: Brian Noble has named the following 18 man squad for the game: Deacon, Fielden, I Harris, B Harris, Withers, Johnson, Lynch, Parker, L Pryce, Peacock, Langley, Vagana, Paul, Hape, Henderson, Meyers, Vainikolo, Radford,
Milestones: Paul Deacon has scored 131 goals from 166 attempts for an average of 78.92%, Jamie Peacock, who will play his 200th game for the club at headingley this week, needs 4 point for a career total of 200 in club and representative football. Paul Johnson needs 8 points for a career total of 300. He has scored 73 tries in 183 games in club and representative football. Lesley Vainikolo has now scored 95 tries in only 97 appearances for the bulls
ALSO in this weeks Bulls Eye, coach Brian Noble and captain Jamie Peacock look ahead to Sunday's Super League Round 23 game at Odsal when Widnes Vikings return to Bradford to face the Bulls for the second time in six rounds, looking to make it five points from six this season
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VOLCANO READY TO ERUPT AFTER LENGTHY ABSENCE
IN Bulls Eye this week , coach Brian Noble looks ahead to Sunday?s engage Super League Round 21 game at Odsal when the Bulls face Leigh Centurions looking to get back to winning ways following two consecutive defeats
Leigh have nothing to lose coming to Odsal this week?
They have everything to gain. There are still nine games to go before the end of the season and that is effectively another eighteen points. They will want to come here and try and get two of them and they will have looked at the way we played last week and fancy their chances. If they are relegated then they will want as many points as possible and they would be delighted if the Bulls name was on the list of their scalps.
After a good performance at Headingley you must have been disappointed with last week?s showing at Belle Vue?
I was very disappointed and we know we will have to play a lot better this week. We lacked concentration and we lacked a killer instinct, something we used to possess in abundance. We need to focus on the really simple things and execute them correctly, particularly in defence. We know we can score points but the reality is if you score 34 points away from home you should win. Our kicking game needs to improve and our chase was non existent last week and we need to play with vigour and enthusiasm. We can?t afford to be out enthused again.
Leigh have a good work ethic and they will be fired up for this game. They are very much an ?in your face? team and we have to cope with that. They roll round the Hookers and Paul Rowley and Robbie Mears offer them different options. Duffy, in the halves is very experienced and gets them about the field and Wiltshire, coming into the line at Full Back, is always very dangerous. Phil Jones is playing well for them and if you offend he will punish you with his kicks.
Brian Noble has named the following 20 man squad for the game: Vainikolo, Deacon, Cook, Fielden, I Harris, B Harris, Withers, Johnson, Lynch, Parker, L Pryce, Peacock, Pratt, Langley, Pryce K, Hape, Reardon, Vagana, Henderson, Meyers
PAUL DEACON, who needs 1 point for a career total of 1600, has scored 104 goals from 135 attempts for an average of 77.04%
LEON PRYCE needs four tries for a career century of club and representative touchdowns. The utility back has scored 88 for Bradford plus eight in representative matches, including two for Great Britain.
IESTYN HARRIS needs 2 points for a career total 2200.
STUART REARDON will play his 100th career game this week. He has made 75 appearances for the Bulls, 5 for Featherstone Rovers on loan, 8 for Salford Reds and 11 in Representative Football.
IN Bulls Eye this week, coach Brian Noble and winger Stuart Reardon look ahead to Friday's engage Super League Round 22 game at The Willows when the Bulls face Salford City Reds in the first of the loop fixtures.
RUGBY League and Rugby Union is set to clash next month when Bradford Bulls play Bradford and Bingley RFC in the ?Tetley?s Cross Code Challenge? at The Bees? Wagon Lane. Stadium on Sunday 31st July 2005, kick off 4.00pm.
IN Bulls Eye this week, coach Brian Noble looks ahead to Sunday's engage Super League Round 18 game at Odsal when the Vikings take on the Bulls looking for a Super League double.