While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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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. - - - - - 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
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Thanks to Bradford Bulls Media for this article.