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In this the first Bulls Eye of the season, Brian Noble and Joe Vagana look ahead to Sunday's opening Engage Super League game of the season at Odsal when Wakefield Trinity are the visitors.
IT?S A TOUGH START WITH WAKEFIELD PROVIDING THE OPPOSITION.
They will be very tough, very tough indeed. We have had a great pre season and the boys are ready to play. It?s hard to keep them focused during training but now we have an objective and that is a game at the end of every week and we couldn?t ask for a tougher start than Wakefield. They proved last season what a difficult side they are to beat and I don?t buy into the theory going round that they won?t be as strong without Gareth Ellis. One player never makes a team and they showed last season they have plenty of stars. They work hard and they work hard for each other and they have great support, particularly around the ruck and, although I don?t like singling out individuals, they have star men in Solomona and Domic and with Julian O?Neil coming in as playmaker they will be strong on both sides of the park.
As I said we are ready for a game now and we are getting fed up with training and practising. We need to find out where the fruits of our labours in the off season have taken us.
Our only long term injury is Shontayne Hape but we are unlikely to have Mick Withers for another couple of weeks. The Internationals meant we had a lot of players who didn?t return until January but we have managed to get them up to speed in a short period of time, which is testament to their professionalism and we are looking forward to getting going.
THE TRAINING IS OVER NOW AND IT?S TIME TO START, IT WILL BE A DIFFICULT YEAR
It will. We have drawn Wakefield for the first round of the Engage Super League X and they will be tough opponents for us. They had a great year last season and they will be looking to sustain it this time around and get off to a flyer with the win. But we have trained really well and worked very hard in the pre season so they will find us in a determined mood come Sunday. A couple of the new boys, Brad Meyers and Andy Lynch, will be playing on Sunday and they have fitted in really well. Bradford is an easy team to fit into because the team spirit here is tremendous and they are going to add a lot of firepower to our side. Lynchy though is a Prop and I have told him I don?t want him crossing the line before me! Seriously he is a quality player with a lot of skill who stood out in a struggling team last year and he will only get better with us. He will have to be good if he wants my starting spot!!
There will be a mad scramble for the top places in the Engage Super League this year as the competition just gets stronger. Leeds, Hull, Wigan, St Helens and ourselves will all be slugging it out and we saw last year just how competitive it was with a couple of very close game between the Bulls and Salford. All the sides have recruited well and it is all set for another good year. There will be some games that will be tough to call and some big shocks along the way.
Lesley Vainikolo, has now scored 78 tries in 82 appearances for the Bulls
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