Smith expecting tough battle for Bradford against Oldham

Bradford Bulls coach Rohan Smith has warned he is expecting a tough test from Oldham as the race for the top four reaches a crucial afternoon today.

Bradford know that if they lose and both Halifax and Batley win, they have no chance of making the Qualifiers and staying in the hunt for promotion.

And Smith says Oldham, who have won three games in succession to boost their survival chances, will be tough opponents.

Smith said: “We looked sharp in the first half and had a bit of a ruthless streak to our attack, particularly for the first 50 minutes.

“Oldham have had some great results throughout the season, so we’re expecting a good, hard battle. We’re looking forward to the arm wrestle. Our focus is about controlling what we can and performing well on the weekend.”

Second row Dale Ferguson, prop Epalahame Lauaki and back rower Tom Olbison are all back in the squad this week.

Oldham won 26-24 at home to Swinton Lions to make it three wins on the trot and coach Scott Naylor said: “On the day I thought we played OK but looking back at the game we probably got away with it against Swinton, we didn’t play that well.

“To win ugly is not a bad thing. We played extremely well against Sheffield and we played well against Whitehaven but at the weekend we didn’t at all.

“Bradford have obviously got a lot to play for and from what I can gather, they should have got a result at Leigh. We’ve got to go there and obviously perform better than what we did against them at home.

“We’ve got some fresh lads and we’ll use the squad and prepare for the game really well. It’s obviously a really tough game, but on the back of three wins, we’ve a lot of confidence about us, we’re in a good place right now.”