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First Utility Super League: Francis Cummins shocked by Bulls' defending
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Bradford coach Francis Cummins branded his team's defence "pathetic" as they crashed to a 46-18 defeat at Salford.
The Bulls were blown away at the start by a revitalised Red Devils, who never looked back after running in three tries in the first seven minutes through Logan Tomkins, Junior Sau and man of the match Rangi Chase.
"It was a horror start," Cummins said. "Defensively we were pathetic. We were not even doing the basics.
"Salford played well and they have some good players who can unlock defences but they were going through untouched through the middle and that's poor.
"Right from the start we had some people who were way off the pace. We got back into it a little - we didn't have ball for 10 minutes at the start - but we had used a lot of energy.
"We had some people who were way well below any kind of standard for Super League today."
The Bulls' 12th defeat of the season leaves them eight points behind nearest rivals Wakefield with just 11 games left to preserve their Super League status, starting with the visit of Hull KR on Friday.
"It gets tougher," Cummins said. "We've got a short turnaround and we've got to concentrate on Hull KR. Mathematically we can still do it so that's what we've got to keep facing.
"The frustrating bit is that we probably wasted an opportunity there today."
Sunday's defeat followed the Bradford club's failure to win back any of their points docked for going into administration but Cummins does not believe that setback played on his players' minds.
"Maybe a few individuals were hankering on getting some points back but it's never crossed my mind and we've never talked about it in team meetings," he said.
Salford cruised to their first in eight league matches and their biggest of the season to ease the pressure on coach Iestyn Harris.
"We've been showing some signs for the last few weeks," Harris said. "It's been coming but in stops and starts.
"We were pretty clinical in the early stages. I thought we had a lot of energy and worked extremely hard for each other.
"We're trying to improve as a team and get in position where can have a shot at the top eight. It's a real target for us."
Chase scored two of his side's eight tries and, after taking on the goalkicking responsibility for the first time for his club, landed seven conversions to finish with 22 points in a man-of-the-match display, although he was put on report for allegedly throwing a punch.
"I thought we saw the world class in him and also the ugly but he looked a real threat with the ball and that's what we want from Rangi Chase," Harris said.
"I thought he had the bit between his teeth today that he was trying to prove to himself and to us that he can play in this system. I thought he did it very well today."
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||24||21|
|10||Salford Red Devils||24||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||24||8|
|Thursday 28th August|
|20:00||Warrington vs Huddersfield|
|Friday 29th August|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|20:00||Hull vs Hull K R|
|20:00||Leeds vs St Helens|
|Saturday 30th August|
|18:00||Catalan Dragons vs London Broncos|
|Sunday 31st August|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Salford|
|15:30||Castleford vs Bradford|
|Thursday 4th September|
|20:00||St Helens vs Warrington|
|Friday 5th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Leeds|
|Sunday 7th September|
|15:00||Salford vs London Broncos|
|Sunday 17th August|
|Bradford 34 - 28 Hull|
|London Broncos 40 - 36 Leeds|
|Huddersfield 28 - 14 Widnes|
|Friday 15th August|
|St Helens 40 - 16 Wakefield|
|Salford 34 - 22 Catalan Dragons|
|Warrington 48 - 10 Castleford|
|Thursday 14th August|
|Hull K R 14 - 14 Wigan|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|Castleford 64 - 18 London Broncos|
|Widnes 28 - 10 Hull K R|
|Wakefield 18 - 36 Huddersfield|
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