BRADFORD Bulls boss John Kear has warned his Betfred League 1 title favourites of the big threat they can expect from Oldham in the Good Friday clash at Odsal (6pm kick-off).
He was critical of the Bulls’ performance in a 32-12 home win against Hunslet last time out and is calling for a hugely-improved show against a Roughyeds side which many regard as Bradford’s main promotion rivals.
Kear has gone public with his view that Scott Naylor’s men will take some beating and that the Bulls will need to be at their best.
He told the Telegraph and Argus:
“If we play like we did last Sunday we’ll get our backsides slapped, believe you me.
“I’ve watched several of Oldham’s (recent) games. They were outstanding against York even though they lost by just two points. They played Halifax off the park in the cup game which I went along to last week.”
Despite his praise of Oldham and his concerns about how the Bulls played against Hunslet, describing them as ‘sloppy’ and ‘disrespectful’, Kear has named an unchanged 19-man squad.
Bradford (from): Bustin, Butler-Fleming, Chisholm, Crossley, Flanagan, Garside, Gibson, Grant, Hallas, Johnson, Keys, McNally, Milton, Minichella, Peltier, Pickersgill, Ryan, Smith, Wood.
Veteran skipper Lee Smith and young back Brandon Pickersgill missed out last week, but Smith is strongly fancied to be back in the starting line-up this time.
Centre Jake Butler-Fleming made his debut against Hunslet, while his fellow Aussie Dane Chisholm made his first start since last May at half-back, partnering Joe Keyes.
Prop Steve Crossley captained in Smith’s absence and won his side’s best-player award in a strong starting front-row which also featured Callum Bustin, on loan from Castleford, and lively hooker Sam Hallas, who will be strongly challenged for the starting slot by new signing George Flanagan.
Kear was subsequently to make the point that Crossley’s good form and leadership skills were also rubbing off on his fellow prop Bustin.
Winger Dalton Grant scored three tries to maintain the Bulls’ 100 per cent record so far this season.