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Super League: Francis Cummins slams schedule after Bradford Bulls' first win
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Bradford coach Francis Cummins and Wakefield counterpart Richard Agar agreed the short turn-around contributed to an error-strewn game after the Bulls claimed their first Super League win of the season with 23-10 success.
It was both teams' second game in four days and, while the triumphant Bulls ran in four tries to two, the match was rarely allowed to flow as mistake after mistake hampered both sides.
A relieved Cummins, whose troubled side lost 36-18 to Castleford on Sunday, claimed the schedule was "ridiculous", but expressed delight that his players ground out the win.
The Bulls face an imminent possible points deduction for entering administration and are also involved in a tug-of-war over ownership.
Cummins said: "It (the short period between games) is ridiculous, but we don't make those decisions.
"Bradford and Wakefield are very similar in squad sizes, whereas if you're are Warrington, Wigan or Huddersfield you can move people around in important games.
"We can't do that and maybe that was a factor. The pitch was heavy as well, but it can be as scrappy as it likes. It (winning) is a great feeling for the lads. We've not had too much to smile about and that win was priceless."
Wakefield boss Richard Agar was disappointed, with the Wildcats also losing their opening game at Salford, despite staging a commendable second-half fightback.
"We were poor all round and made too many errors, turning over the ball too cheaply and playing too sideways," Agar said.
"You can't expect to win a game making the amount of errors we did.
"I'm the losing coach so it would be soft to hide behind the closeness in games as an excuse, but we both (Agar and Cummins) spoke about it before the game. We've both had limited preparation and limited recovery time, which showed.
"It was a heavy pitch as well which affected the spectacle, but it's really difficult asking us to turn around from Sunday to Thursday."
Bradford, who have now won 11 of the last 12 games against Wakefield, scored four tries through Adrian Purtell, Brett Kearney, Luke George, who signed during the winter from Huddersfield and was making his debut, and Adam O'Brien.
Wakefield, who had two claims for tries ruled out by the video referees, scored through Peter Fox and Ali Lauitiiti touchdowns.
Purtell and Kearney scored either side of Fox's try in the first half to send the Bulls in at the break leading 10-4.
The visitors extended their advantage when George capitalized on a Trinity mistake in their own 20 metre area just after the break and, although Kiwi Ali Lauitiiti, on his 250th appearance in the British game, grabbed a score back for the Wildcats, an O'Brien try and Luke Gale drop goal sealed the win for the Bulls.Super League. Click here to bet.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
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