Match Preview - Bradford Bulls (H)
Bradford Bulls come into Sunday’s game aiming to get their campaign off to a perfect start at the expense of the Eagles.
In 2019, the Bulls finished 6th in the Betfred Championship - just outside the playoff places so they will be hoping to go one better this term.
After leaving Odsal Stadium, Bradford currently reside at Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium and will look to make their home away from home a fortress.
The Bulls will be welcomed into another temporary home this weekend, as the Eagles are currently playing at the Keepmoat Stadium while the Community Stadium is being built on the Olympic Legacy Park site.
Bulls Head Coach John Kear has added several new faces in the hope of a playoff push at the end of the 2021 season.
The highly experienced Danny Brough joined Bradford along with Aaron Murphy, Ben Evans, Brad England, Reece Hamlett, Elliot Wallis, Brad Calland, Jack Sanderson and Anthony Walker.
Pre-season and Challenge Cup results
Bradford have endured a mixed bag of results in pre-season and the early rounds of the cup competition.
The Bulls lost to Swinton Lions in pre-season before beating local rivals Keighley Cougars a week later at Tetley's Stadium.
Similarly to the Eagles, the Bulls are out of both the Betfred Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup after losing to Featherstone Rovers.
Despite a score from Ebon Scurr and a double from Reece Hamlett, Featherstone ran out comfortable 41-16 winners with tries from Connor Jones, Thomas Minns, Ben Blackmore, Dean Parata and Craig Hall.
JK at the helm
Former Eagles Head Coach John Kear enters his third year as Bradford head coach in 2021 and will be looking for more progress for the Bulls this season.
Since Kear’s appointment in 2018, the Wales head coach guided the Bulls back to the Championship and in the last full competitive season his side narrowly missed out on a top-five finish.
The Bulls head coach has a reputation as one of the most respected coaches in the UK with coaching experience with the Eagles, PSG, Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity and Batley Bulldogs all on Kear's CV.
One To Watch - Danny Brough
The 38-year-old joined Bradford for the 2021 season and will link up with Kear once again after working together at Hull FC and Wakefield.
The Scottish international has heaps of Super League experience with Trinity, Huddersfield, Castleford and Hull.
Brough will look to make the most of that experience and provide the Bulls with an expert kicking game on Sunday afternoon.
By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman