It's Warr! But fans can be our secret weapon in Cup battle, says Bradford Bulls coach (From Keighley News)
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It's Warr! But fans can be our secret weapon in Challenge Cup battle, says Bradford Bulls coach
Francis Cummins believes fan power can again inspire the Bulls when they face Challenge Cup kings Warrington in the quarter-finals.
Cummins’ men were drawn at home to the Wolves last night and will face them over the weekend of June 7-8, while Cougars were handed a trip to Widnes.
It will be the third successive home Cup tie of the season for Bradford and, following Sunday’s stirring 33-20 comeback win over Catalan Dragons, Cummins believes the supporters can again play a pivotal role.
Tony Smith has guided Warrington to three Challenge Cup final wins since 2009 but Cummins said: “The numbers weren’t big on Sunday but the fans found their voice again and that support made a difference.
“There is a reason why Catalan win the penalty count at home more often than not and that’s because their fans are very vocal.
“I said I was proud of the players on Sunday but I was proud of the supporters as well.
“If we can get some more form behind us then I’m sure we’ll get more support against Warrington for what will be a massive game – a quarter-final of the Challenge Cup.”
Cummins learnt his coaching trade under Smith at Leeds and the Bulls chief will cross swords with his former mentor in Super League combat at Odsal on Sunday.
Cummins added: “Tony and I still speak but we want to beat Warrington and they want to beat us – that’s the way it is.
“It’s more about us progressing because ultimately that’s what we want.”
Manase Manuokafoa (hamstring) could miss Sunday’s game but James Donaldson and Dale Ferguson are aiming to return to action, while Cummins could add to his squad before the weekend.
He said: “We’re trying really hard and I’ve got my fingers crossed because we’re going to need numbers. Hopefully something could happen soon.”
Meanwhile, Cougars player-coach Paul March admitted: “We wanted a West Yorkshire derby but it didn’t come out like that.
“Widnes are well supported but I’m sure a lot of Cougars fans will get themselves over there and it should be a good atmosphere.
“It could be an upset – it’s just how they play and how we play.
“But that’s why the Challenge Cup is the greatest knockout cup competition in the world.”
The odds on Leeds winning the Cup for the first time since 1999 shortened when they were drawn at home to Championship leaders Leigh – only their second tie against non Super League opposition since 2010 – while Castleford host holders Wigan.
The draw was made by Great Britain internationals Jason Robinson and Paul Sculthorpe.
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