It’s arguably the biggest game of the Super League season so far this Sunday, as Bradford and Wakefield lock horns in a game that could have serious ramifications on the battle to survive and stave off relegation. With the League Express office in heated discussion about which side will come on top, we asked two of our reporters for their opinion, and are throwing the debate open to you! Who wins this Sunday: Bradford Bulls, or Wakefield Trinity Wildcats?
Aaron Bower (AB): Francis Cummins is welcoming back five key squad members for Sunday’s important clash with fellow strugglers Wakefield. If you ask me, the Bulls have a much stronger squad overall and have to be heavy favourites to take the two points – and drag themselves right back into the mix when it comes to beating the drop.
Joe Whitley (JW): I couldn’t disagree more. Even with the return of those five, the Bulls squad lacks depth and quality. Cummins has made only one permanent signing this season and lost the majority of his better players. If you ask me, it will be a Wakefield walkover, and the Bulls will be consigned to the drop come Sunday evening.
AB: He was hamstrung by administration and the loss of Garreth Carvell, Nick Scruton and Jarrod Sammut early in the season, but there is still more than enough talent there to pick up wins. They proved that by defeating Warrington a few weeks ago – and now the likes of Dale Ferguson and Matty Blythe are back to help the cause. Sure, the depth isn’t great – the season so far has proved that – but with everyone fit (with the exception of Brett Kearney) – the Bulls could well hit some form.
JW: Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely hope they do. However, looking at their squad alongside the Wildcats I find it hard to see how they will be able to get past them. Granted, they won at the start of the season but Wakefield were yet to gel after completely overhauling their squad. Since then they’ve picked up two of the Bulls’ best players, brought in some promising Australian talent, and made some clever loan signings, which I think are better than those Cummins made. For me, Wakefield are stronger in every department and there’s only one way this match can go.
AB: Harsh to say Wakefield are stronger in every department. For instance, they’re light on forwards at this moment in time – and their strike pairing of 2013, Dean Collis and Ali Lauiititi, are both out injured. With the superb Dale Ferguson set to feature and Matty Blythe making his comeback, everything looks to be coming together for the Bulls at just the right time. Francis Cummins will have them fired up, because they know the consequences should they fail to get the two points in this one.
JW: Richard Agar’s comments about his squad being match fit is a good point, though – Bradford are welcoming back a whole host of players for this game, which could go one of two ways. Sure, the players who are returning could well make a difference and give the Bulls some spark – but are they fit? Their lack of match fitness could cost them dear in the battle to beat the Wildcats – and ultimately beat the drop. With Jarrod Sammut and Nick Scruton keen to get one over on their old club, Wakefield look like the team you should be putting your money on.