we must put bulls under pressure

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Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss Brian Smith, pictured above, has warned his squad that Bradford Bulls are much more than a one-man side.

The fallen Super League giants arrive at Belle Vue tomorrow, Saturday, for a televised Qualifiers contest.

A favourite to potentially earn promotion from the Championship, Bulls struggled without influential stand-off Lee Gaskell, who missed eight games with a broken jaw.

The dynamic former St Helens No6 is a star of the Championship competition, scoring 20 tries in just 18 games.

He returned last week, scoring another hat-trick when helping fire Bradford to a 42-10 rout of Sheffield Eagles in their opening Qualifier and underlining his importance to the club.

But Smith - whose side lost their first game in the fight to avoid relegation 34-26 at Salford - insisted they cannot simply concentrate on the playmaker.

“I’ve been made aware of his effect on their team,” said the Australian, who coached Bradford in Super League in 1996.

“Just individually you can see he’s a nice mover, gets around the field well and has a fair bit of energy about him so I can see why he’d make a difference. But he’s one of a number of guys in their team that we’ll need to be right on our toes with.

“To be fair, last week they were in total control against Sheffield and virtually everyone in their team played very good football.

“There was nothing weak about anyone last week that I saw. We need to do a hell of a lot better than Sheffield did if we want to compete. But I’m confident we can and put some real pressure on Bradford. Then we’ll see how they deal with that.

“We certainly can’t be backward in coming forward like we were at Salford going 16-0 down before we started to play.”

Bulls have said tomorrow’s game is a “cup final” for them as they strive to get the points needed for a top-flight return.

But Smith said: “I wouldn’t have thought there’s very much of a cup final effect for Bradford. They’ve got two points so they need three more wins or maybe four out of their remaining six.

“So, that early win puts them and all the teams in a much better position than us who lost.

“But it’s not even a cup final for us. It’s vital and a chance to get our best performance together from the beginning of a game and not just 30 minutes in.”

Smith has retained the same 19-man squad with Jordan Tansey and Andy Yates hoping to play.

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