Leeds Rhinos prop Jamie Peacock believes the derby with former club Bradford lost its potency long before the Bulls were condemned to relegation.
The former Great Britain star, speaking to the Yorkshire Post, said: “With Bradford, winning the 2005 Grand Final against Leeds in my last game for them has to be the best.
“But for Leeds, if I’m honest, nothing really grabs me as there hasn’t been that same threat from Bulls. It’s nowhere near the biggest derby now and hasn’t been for some time – for that you need both teams to be challenging at the top. That’s not been the case.”
Tomorrow night, the West Yorkshire rivals face off for the last time in at least a year.
“I’m sure it will be emotional,” said Peacock.
“Going back four or five years, Bradford fans will never have imagined being in this position or that their next major derby would be the one with Halifax.
“I know when I left Bulls at the end of 2005 there was no chance I ever felt they would get relegated.
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“I perhaps thought they may struggle and become a bit of a mid-table club given the number of players who were leaving at the end of that season, but never to this extent.
“They’ve stumbled lower and lower and now actually hit rock bottom.”