Refreshed Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have been warned to expect a Bulls backlash at home to Bradford tonight.
The visitors were crushed 54-16 by Wigan Warriors last weekend, when Wildcats were without a game.
Bulls have lost both their home matches, either side of an impressive win at Castleford Tigers and with Wakefield bidding for a first victory on their own turf, coach Richard Agar is expecting a tense battle.
“They have played two really strong sides at home,” Agar reflected. “They will want to put things right and they’ll see this as a good opportunity to do that.
“We have got to be ready for a backlash from them, but we have had a nice smooth preparation and everyone’s fit and training.”
Agar wants Wildcats to be more ruthless after they failed to turn pressure into points at home to Hull KR a fortnight ago.
“We had chances to win it, but we didn’t take them,” Agar said.
“We have got to learn from that, it is all part of the journey.
“People are saying we don’t have a big pack, but we came up against Hull KR’s big forwards and we won the battle of the metres, so that shows we can go forward and contain the opposition, despite a perceived lack of size.”
Bulls will focus on closing down Wildcats’ pack, so half-back Tim Smith doesn’t get the space to cause problems.
Assessing Wakefield, Bradford coach Mick Potter said: “They really try to impose themselves on the other team. Their forward pack looks to get on top and they have some good line speed and some good intimidation about them.
“Tim Smith gets the side around the park well, he has a good kicking game and he comes up with the right plays for them. They should be fresh after having last week off and it has the makings of a good game.”
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats from: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellors, Cockayne, John, Smith, Wilkes, Aiton, Southern, Kirmond, Lauitiiti, Washbrook, Wood, Raleigh, Johnson, Trout, Ellis, Tony.
Bradford Bulls from: Kearney, Crookes, Lulia, Platt, Kear, Sammut, Jeffries, Kopczak, Diskin, Hargreaves, Whitehead, Walker, Langley, L’Estrange, Scruton, Joseph, Burgess, Addy, Bateman.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Tonight, 7.45pm.