Cummins: Better times ahead
Bradford coach Francis Cummins believes his team's ailing fortunes could be about to change as clubs reach the halfway mark in the 2014 First Utility Super League.
The Bulls remain deep in relegation trouble, eight points adrift of third-bottom Wakefield, as they prepare to face Catalan Dragons in Perpignan in a round 14 match on Saturday.
However, Cummins believes over the Dragons could spark "twitchy bum" time at several of Bradford's rivals.
"There's a few nervous clubs now, which is good," Cummins said, "Get some pressure on other people for a change. We're pretty much used to it.
"There's a few clubs there who have spent a lot of money and it's not happening for them at the moment. There's a lot of pressure on them to perform because we're going to get some wins.
"There will definitely be more twists and it could go down to the wire."
The Bulls only had one fit prop last weekend but will have another three available against the Catalans, whom they knocked out of the Challenge Cup last month.
Manase Manuokafoe has recovered from injury, Antonio Kaufusi is back after being unable to face his parent club and Jordan Baldwinson is set to make his debut after joining the club from New Zealand Warriors.
With Dale Ferguson, Matty Blythe and Jamal Fakir also close to returning from injury, it is likely to leave only Brett Kearney on the sidelines and Cummins is looking forward to having some rare selection headaches in the coming weeks.
"We knew three weeks ago that we were going to have to play Warrington, Saints and Huddersfield with virtually no pack," Cummins said.
"We knew this was the hardest bit for us and we had to pick out the positives. There's a good feeling now that there's more people in training. It's difficult when you've eight or nine players training."
Cummins is relieved to be able to field a stronger pack pack against the Dragons, whose strength is based around their aggressive forwards, who include former Bradford favourites Olivier Elima and Elliott Whitehead.
The 25-year-old Whitehead is in particularly good form and, with 11 tries in just 10 appearances, is their joint leading scorer this season.
"He's one of their better players," Cummins said. "We'll have to watch him.
"We didn't have much of a pack when we played them at home to be fair and we ran them around.
"You either confront them or run the big things all over and it will be a lot easier doing that with four props rather than one or two."