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 Bulls Eye this week, Brian Noble and Robbie Paul, look at tomorrow's clash of the champions at Odsal when Tetley's Super League champions, St Helens take on Powergen Challenge Cup winners Bradford Bulls in another magic night at Odsal.
BRIAN NOBLE: IS THIS A MUST WIN GAME FOR YOU?
Whilst many pundits will have this game down as a ?must win? game for us, I feel it is more important that we play well and if we do that the result will look after itself. We need to reinvest in doing the things with the ball that we haven?t been doing. I don?t think we are alone in that at the moment and the season has many peaks and troughs. Certainly last Saturday night was trough but we get to look at videos and find out what we did wrong and we get another opportunity tonight to put it right! I never get carried away with winning; my focus is always that we have to play well.
ST HELENS HAVE HAD A MIXED START TO THE SEASON.
Anyone who thinks that Saints are no longer a force, and they have been written off in some quarters, does so at their peril. Just look at their points difference. For a team that is supposedly struggling they have the best points difference ion the competition. They are still the same saints and they will be looking to climb back up the ladder. They have had their period of adversity and I?m sure their Coach thinks they are through it now and pushing on.
YOU MUST HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTED LAST WEEK.
After Saturday?s match everyone was disappointed with the performance and result. The players, coaching staff and in particular myself were all extremely disappointed because there were opportunities that we did not take. It was a tough game all over but we know that we are a lot better than we played and we can improve on the mistakes we made. We know we have the ability to go out and win these big games.
We?ve had a tough week in training, where we?ve focused on a lot of things and we now need to concentrate on getting back to the job. There is a saying down under, ?Fai Fai Pea,? which means, ?Keep the faith,? which I believe everyone needs to do, we are working to improve on our game and Saturdays match was not a major set back.
ST HELENS ARE A DANGEROUS SIDE, YET THEY HAVE BEEN WRITTEN OFF BY SOME PEOPLE
The recent set backs that St Helens have faced will make them more dangerous in tonight?s game, they are a good, strong team and it?s only a matter of time before they turn things round for themselves. I know that by the end of the season they will be back around the top. They have too many top individuals in their team for it not to work out like that; they will always fight back and never give in. With the rivalry between the two clubs and our performance on Saturday means that they will see tonight?s match as an opportunity to get things back on track for themselves. It will make it a very dangerous but exciting time for the Bulls so we need to make sure we don?t let our guard down
Paul Anderson is fit again and is included in the Bulls squad for Friday?s game. Stuart Fielden played half a game for the Under 21?s at St Helens last night but is not likely to be risked. Bulls Squad: Pryce, Deacon, Paul, Vaikona, Vagana, Vainikolo, Hape, Naylor, Lowes, Anderson, Peacock, Gartner, Radford, Parker, Forshaw, Pratt, Moore, Langley, Gilmour
LEON PRYCE, LESLEY VAINIKOLO AND ROBBIE PAUL are the Bulls leading scorers this season with 13 tries.
MICHAEL WITHERS has scored 90 tries in just 106 appearances for the club.
PAUL DEACON has kicked 100 goals from 124 attempts in all games for the Bulls this season for an average of 80.65%.
LEE RADFORD has kicked 8 goals from 9 attempts this season for an average of 88.88%