9th January 2018, 09:40
A Look To Pre-Season - Bradford Bulls
Sheffield Eagles will face Bradford Bulls and St Helens in pre-season friendlies as they get ready for the 2018 Kingstone Press Championship season.
Although the Eagles haven’t been keen to use pre-season matches during the long reign of Mark Aston, the South Yorkshire club have started to entertain the idea as their squad turnover has increased over the past few years.
The Eagles have taken on the Bradford Bulls ten times since the start of the 2015 season and despite John Kear’s side plying their trade in League 1 during 2018, the two teams will face off once again.
Bradford Bulls (Sunday 14th January @ The Provident Stadium)
- Final league position (after Super 8s): 12th
- Challenge Cup: Round 4 – lost 21-13 v Featherstone Rovers
- Top try-scorer: James Bentley – 18 tries
- Most appearances: Liam Kirk – 31 games
- Most points scored: Oscar Thomas – 139 points
It was a disappointing season for Bradford as they were relegated to the third tier.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Geoff Toovey’s men after they had 12 points deducted for going into liquidation before the season started.
It was a very youthful Bulls squad who held their own at times during the campaign but the job at hand proved too difficult and their relegation was confirmed.
Now, under the stewardship of John Kear – the Eagles’ 1998 Challenge Cup winning coach – the Bulls can rebuild and give another year’s worth of experience to their up-and-coming stars.
Bradford have recruited well and they have had to. Losing James Bentley, the Championship’s Young Player of the Year, to St Helens is a big blow while Colton Roche has also moved to Super League with Huddersfield Giants.
Another player who looked to be heading out of the door was winger Ethan Ryan but much to the delight of the Bradford fans, the youngster has stayed on board.
Prop forward Jon Magrin and outside back Iliess Macani have joined the Eagles and will go up against their former club.
Elliot Minchella, George Milton and Liam Johnson, three of last season’s Eagles contingent, will be lining up for Bradford, as will fellow ex-Eagle Matt Garside who has put pen to paper at Odsal from London Broncos.
- Lee Smith
- Ethan Ryan
- Ashley Gibson
- Ross Oakes
- Dalton Grant
- Joe Keyes
- Dane Chisholm
- Liam Kirk
- Sam Hallas
- Steve Crossley
- Matt Garside
- Elliot Minchella
- George Milton
- Callum Bustin
- Ross Peltier
- Liam Johnson
- Mikey Wood
- Brandon Pickersgill
- Josh Rickett
- Vila Halafihi
- Reiss Butterworth
- James Davies
- Evan Hodgson
- Jamel Goodall
- Oliver Wilson
- Alex Brown
- Bradford 22-6 Halifax – Boxing Day
- Bradford v Sheffield – Sunday 14th January
- Bradford v Keighley – Sunday 11th February
Tickets for Sunday's friendly are priced as follows:
Provident Stand (Seating):
- Adults (17 – 64) - £15
- Concession (65+) - 1£0
- Under 16s - £5
- Adults (17 – 64) - £10
- Concession (65+) - £5
- Under 16s - FREE
Please note that there will be a £5 increase in sales for Terrace tickets if you wish to purchase tickets on the day. Junior tickets will remain FREE if you wish to do so.
Written By Dan Fowler