Friday, 16 March 2007

Quins to halt stampeding Bulls

Quins RL face league leaders Bradford Bulls tomorrow at the Twickenham Stoop, the Bulls the second most successful club of the Super League behind St Helens represent a major challenge for a Quins side that has lost its last two games.

Head Coach Brian McDermott will be well aware of the threat posed by the Bulls, a former Bradford player he retains close links with the club including a friendship with counterpart Steve McNamara. McNamara, who took over the helm following the departure of Brian Noble to Wigan last season, knows he has great expectations to live up to following the Bull’s recent history of success.

Bradford have one of the best halves combinations in the league with former Great Britain internationals Paul Deacon and Iestyn Harris guiding the side around the park. In the forwards Kiwi international David Solomona, a close season signing from Wakefield, is likely to be influential, complementing by former Kangaroo Chris McKenna and home grown international Jamie Langley. Many Quins fans will remember McKenna from a short-spell with the London Broncos back in 1995. Hooker Ian Henderson provides quick service from dummy half, but the Bulls will be without their other hooker Terry Newton who is currently suspended.

In the backs Bradford have some impressive firepower in Kiwi internationals Shontayne Hape and Lesley Vainikolo, whilst centre Ben Harris is a reliable presence. Fullback is likely to be Michael Platt who is emerging as one of Super League’s brightest young players, following early stints with Hunslet, Salford and Castleford.

Quins have named second row Lee Hopkins in the squad, following a rib injury, although Hopkins along with recent signing Richard Villasanti who is also named, may still be short of full fitness.

Brian McDermott will be hoping that his side are able to recapture the form they displayed in the opening three round of Super League as well as overcome their recent habit of fading in the second half.

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