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Match Thread: Championship Round 14, Bradford Bulls v Featherstone Rovers Sunday 25th July


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So back to the Championship.

First things first - will this game go ahead? We had, I think, 5 players missing because of Covid last week - Halton, Parata, Moors, Jones and Holmes.

Of those, we know that Halton should be available as he only narrowly missed being available for selection last week, but if the same rules still apply (ie the 7-day return-to-play protocol on top of the 10 days' self-isolation) the other 4 will presumably still be out. So it wouldn't take many more cases for us to reach the threshold of seven players before we could ask for the game to be called off (without it counting as a loss).

Moreover, if anyone who travelled on the team bus to Wembley tests positive, that might have an impact in terms of the "close contact" regulations.

For me if we reach seven players unavailable for either of these reasons it would be a no-brainer to cancel - to be honest if it reached that level we probably wouldn't be able to field 17 anyway.

But anyway - if the game does go ahead, we are clearly going to be cobbling a team together like we had to do in the 1895 final. The youngsters and fill-ins stood up very well at Wembley but this will be a big ask to turn out again after such a gruelling game in the heat, with Marchy describing our players as "dead on their feet" at the end.

We've put 40 past Bradford twice this season and I don't think any of us are in doubt that we are a stronger team than them, but circumstances are tougher here, with Bradford having a nice rest since scoring 50 points last time with Joe Keyes an important loan signing, and most of all, having been granted dispensation to play on their ultra-narrow pitch for the rest of the season.

We'll have to see what the rest of the week brings in terms of Covid updates and what sort of team we can put out.

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7 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

If the Wembley 17 are all ok plus Halton and Dagger back, we should be good to go.

AHB is a worry, as Sweeting & Spence were both heroic at Wembley, but we need Jones & Parata to really tick.

Yes. Halton's return would enable Harrison to go back to the middle, but it's our two nines that we missed most on Saturday.

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24 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Yes. Halton's return would enable Harrison to go back to the middle, but it's our two nines that we missed most on Saturday.

JD was absolutely outstanding at Wembley, but would there be a case for switching him to AHB at Bradford? He's done it before.

Daggsy to FB, Hall at centre, Doyle keeps his place on merit. JD at 9 with say Sweeting off the bench?

Dunno.

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I think on the narrow pitch if we have enough grunt and go forward in the pack we will be able to create enough opportunities for  dags hall chizz and nu to weave their magic

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20 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

JD was absolutely outstanding at Wembley, but would there be a case for switching him to AHB at Bradford? He's done it before.

Daggsy to FB, Hall at centre, Doyle keeps his place on merit. JD at 9 with say Sweeting off the bench?

Dunno.

Last time I remember JD playing acting half back was also at Odsal, and I think he got pinged four or five times for forward passes straight from the play-the-ball. Timing is such an underrated part of the AHB role, and as we tend to play a lot off flat passes we tread a tightrope some weeks.

So for that reason I don't think JD is the answer there, though with Dagger possibly available and maybe even Welham where we'd fit him in I don't know. Perhaps back to edge back row with Harrison moving back to middle.

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3 hours ago, marklaspalmas said:

JD was absolutely outstanding at Wembley, but would there be a case for switching him to AHB at Bradford? He's done it before.

Daggsy to FB, Hall at centre, Doyle keeps his place on merit. JD at 9 with say Sweeting off the bench?

Dunno.

Assuming Dagger is still with us and possibly Welham fit (big if) that would free up JD to play elsewhere, with him maybe filling in at stand off and utilising Nu Brown at hooker.

I'm sure I'll think of something funny to say soon.

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14 minutes ago, The Grinder said:

Assuming Dagger is still with us and possibly Welham fit (big if) that would free up JD to play elsewhere, with him maybe filling in at stand off and utilising Nu Brown at hooker.

If you want to play nu at 9 then obvious choice is Harvey S in the halves

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   I would leave J.D in the centre for Bradford game.If we could get two 15 min slots out of Kris which is doubtful as he will be nowhere  near match fit.i would put him in the back row.I think Wembley will have taken a lot out of the lads and Kear will have Bradford primed up to try to take advantage.The team spirit is so high whichever players take the field i would not back against them.Toulouse game is on the weekend of our young un's Stag do so i am leaving early to get to the game Sunday afternoon.

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Just now, The Phantom Horseman said:

Two League 1 games this weekend already postponed due to Doncaster and Rochdale each having 7+ Covid cases. Will be surprising if they are the last.

Hope Misi isn't one of them. Was in his company for a while on Friday night at Skolars.

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1 hour ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Two League 1 games this weekend already postponed due to Doncaster and Rochdale each having 7+ Covid cases. Will be surprising if they are the last.

I wonder how many missed due to positive Covid tests and how many  as close contacts,

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2 hours ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Two League 1 games this weekend already postponed due to Doncaster and Rochdale each having 7+ Covid cases. Will be surprising if they are the last.

Widnes vs London off

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I know injury news isn't widely available but I thought Fergie was due back soon.  Has he had a relapse ?   Is Bussey definitely out for the season ?  He seemed to be walking ok at Wembley ? (Although i know if he needs an op or whatever it doesnt mean he has to be hobbling about on crutches). Maybe the club should start a subscription injury news channel........

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1 hour ago, RobLambert said:

I know injury news isn't widely available but I thought Fergie was due back soon.  Has he had a relapse ?   Is Bussey definitely out for the season ?  He seemed to be walking ok at Wembley ? (Although i know if he needs an op or whatever it doesnt mean he has to be hobbling about on crutches). Maybe the club should start a subscription injury news channel........

I think Ferguson was back fit but missed out last couple of weeks due to Covid I believe?

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The club is a secret society as far as injuries are concerned

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15 minutes ago, haskey said:

The club is a secret society as far as injuries are concerned

Whenever Webbo is asked in interview he seems to be reasonably forthcoming about who's available, who's not and why. Perhaps we are not asking the right people and not asking often enough.

"Out of the way,son. Where's my medal?" Alex Murphy's immortal words as David Hobbs scores his 2nd try in the '83 Cup Final!

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38 minutes ago, haskey said:

The club is a secret society as far as injuries are concerned

You've got to understand H the club is run on a need to know basis and the fans DON'T need to know

 

20 minutes ago, roversspud said:

Whenever Webbo is asked in interview he seems to be reasonably forthcoming about who's available, who's not and why. Perhaps we are not asking the right people and not asking often enough.

Not really R only tells us about what we all ready know Minns Bussey  Day etc everything else is hush hush

EXAMPLES we only learned who was involved this week from their own twitter feeds not from the club and welham missing out again and club not telling us WHY!

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42 minutes ago, POR said:

You've got to understand H the club is run on a need to know basis and the fans DON'T need to know

 

Not really R only tells us about what we all ready know Minns Bussey  Day etc everything else is hush hush

EXAMPLES we only learned who was involved this week from their own twitter feeds not from the club and welham missing out again and club not telling us WHY!

   I would like to know more but maybe Webster wants to keep our opponents guessing what our match day team will be.It's worked ok so far but it is frustrating for supporters.

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8 hours ago, Rarefrith said:

I think Ferguson was back fit but missed out last couple of weeks due to Covid I believe?

Jeebus wept, is this true? What's coming out of the hurt locker next - perhaps he'll tear a bicep getting swabbed?

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3 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

   I would like to know more but maybe Webster wants to keep our opponents guessing what our match day team will be.It's worked ok so far but it is frustrating for supporters.

That's true  S  but what gets me is we post a 21 man squad for the opposition and whole wide world to see then whittled down to 17 but fans are never told the ins and outs of the decisions

what's so hard to tell fans  we decided to rest players A  ankle today or player B was not picked because he reported he had an upset tummy🤣

FERGIE named in two consecutive squads and never picked  then dropped and nobody  has said  why so frustrating for supporters.

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On a slightly unrelated note, does anyone know if the club is planning to restock the replica home shirts, either the standard one or a limited Wembley version?

Nothing would suit my shameful post-lockdown belly more than a snug fitting set of horizontal stripes. If you're wondering how to spot me, I'll be the one looking like Pen-y-ghent on an ONS map.

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2 hours ago, POR said:

You've got to understand H the club is run on a need to know basis and the fans DON'T need to know

 

Not really R only tells us about what we all ready know Minns Bussey  Day etc everything else is hush hush

EXAMPLES we only learned who was involved this week from their own twitter feeds not from the club and welham missing out again and club not telling us WHY!

Not Really POR, look back on the club videos and you'll see when he's asked he tells. He's not to know what we already know from following players' twitter accounts. And asking on here or on FB is not the place to do it as who knows wether Webbo reads any of this drivel!🤣

"Out of the way,son. Where's my medal?" Alex Murphy's immortal words as David Hobbs scores his 2nd try in the '83 Cup Final!

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