Match preview: Bradford Bulls v Hull Kingston Rovers

Bradford caretaker player-coach Matt Diskin has recalled Brett Kearney, Jay Pitts and Alex Mellor into his 19-man squad for the visit of Hull KR. The trio replace Adam Henry, Joe Arundel and Jamie Foster. With Bradford eight points from safety, and with games running out, defeat here is almost unthinkable for the Bulls.

Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock also makes changes following consecutive defeats by Castleford and Warrington. Kris Welham, Rhys Lovegrove and Sonny Esslemont replace injured Jamie Langley (patella tendon) and the dropped Jonny Walker and Wayne Ulugia. Josh Hodgson is in the squad, despite hefty speculation over a potential move to the NRL with Canberra Raiders.

The Squads
Bradford Bulls:
Addy, Baldwinson, Blythe, Diskin, Donaldson, Fakir, Gale, Gaskell, George, Kear, Kearney, O’Brien, Olbison, Manuokafoa, Mellor, Pitts, Purtell, Sidlow, Walker.

Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Costigan, Eden, Esslemont, Gardner, Green, Hall, D. Hodgson, J. Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Lovegrove, Netherton, Ollett, Salter, Walker, Welham, Weyman.

The Stats
Jamie Foster needs 18 points to reach 1,000 for his career. His total of 982 has been scored as follows: 618 for St Helens (2010-2012 – 34 tries, 241 goals), 110 for Hull FC (2012 – 5 tries, 45 goals) and 254 for Bradford (2013-2014 – 13 tries, 101 goals).

Last ten meetings: Hull KR 16, Bradford 0 (SLR6, 23/3/14)
Hull KR 28, Bradford 18 (SLR17, 2/6/13)
Bradford 34, Hull KR 12 (SLR7, 17/3/13)
Bradford 32, Hull KR 26 (SLR24, 10/8/12)
Hull KR 24, Bradford 36 (SLR6, 10/3/12)
Bradford 8, Hull KR 34 (SLR24, 14/8/11)
Hull KR 46, Bradford 18 (SLR14, 15/5/11)
Hull KR 49, Bradford 24 (SLR23, 24/7/10)
Bradford 40, Hull KR 4 (SLR12, 25/4/10)
Hull KR 32, Bradford 12 (SLR20, 12/7/09)

The Prediction
Both teams are in desperate need of the points for differing reasons, but Hull Kingston Rovers should be able to kick the Bulls when they are seriously down. Expect Craig Sandercock’s men to pick up a valuable win and keep their play-off dream alive.

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