Super League weekend preview

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Super League weekend preview

Lee St Hilaire will take charge of Bradford Bulls for the first time on Saturday as they take on Salford at the Grattan Stadium.

The acting head coach has replaced Steve McNamara, who was released on Monday, for the remainder of this season, until newly appointed coach Michael Potter takes over.

St Hilaire has made only one change to the side that lost 35-18 to Harlequins, with Tom Olibison replacing the suspended Paul Sykes.

The acting coach has stated this week that the team’s loss of form of late is more to do with confidence rather than poor management from the previous boss.
“Confidence is the biggest factor and obviously we're low on troops,” St Hilaire said.

"Some of the confidence comes from within and we're trying to build each individual's confidence up and hopefully the team will then be confident in their own ability to push on. I've had a couple of one-to-ones over the last couple of days and they've been really helpful. They've bounced around training today."

Bradford are currently on a losing streak of three games and will need to turn around that form if they are serious about making a late surge towards the play-off places.
Their opponents this weekend, Salford, have failed in their bid to sign Canterbury Bulldogs’ Australian stars Andrew Ryan and Luke Patten.

Ryan is understood to have changed his mind about playing Super League and Patten is tipped to snub the Reds in favour of a move to the Huddersfield Giants.

The news will come as a bitter blow to everyone concerned with the club as the lack of strength in depth in the squad has really been shown in the last few weeks, causing the Reds to slip to second bottom in the Super League.

Elsewhere, St Helens will be hoping for a better reception from their home fans when they face Harlequins on Sunday. The Saints were booed off following their surprise defeat to bottom side

Catalans last week but with Leon Pryce and Kyle Eastmond returning to the side they should improve on last week’s dismal result.

Castleford and Wakefield are tied on 18 points each in the Super League and they face each other at The Jungle on Sunday afternoon. Full-back Kieran Hyde and hooker James Davey have been both been included in Wakefield’s squad, whilst the Tigers are hopeful that Michael Shenton, Liam Higgins and Joe Arundel will shake off minor knocks for the mid-table clash.




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