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Bradford Bulls boss gives thoughts on Super League promotion rivals

Today Mark Dunning’s Bradford Bulls continue their preparation for a Super League promotion push in 2023 as they take on Leeds Rhinos.

As they prepare for the Championship, Dunning was asked if Bradford could emulate what they did in 2022: “Batley is Batley and we’re Bradford. You don’t have to spend the most money to be the best but you have to have the best camaraderie between the group and that’s what Batley is good at.

“They have a good team and worth ethic and now our environment and attitude is better and its holistic as a club.”

Likewise, he was asked about whether they will be looking to copy Featherstone Rovers and defeat Super League opposition:

“That’s Featherstone’s story and good luck to them. I went to the game on Friday night against Hull KR just because I needed a rugby fix.

“They played really well and Sean Long has got them doing what he wants them to do and they looked good.

“Although the game on Sunday is Leeds-Bradford, it’s about process, It’s a pre-season trial for us. It’s a process rather than outcome event.”

Since the relegation of Bradford in 2014, the two have only met once in a competitive action but otherwise have met exclusively in pre-season friendlies.

Another awaits today at Headingley and Dunning is excited to take on last year’s Super League Grand Finalists:

“They were the second best team in the country last year. They’re littered with internationals and quality. It is at a great venue, yes it is a pre-season trial but it’s also Leeds vs Bradford so we’re looking forward to it, looking forward to seeing a few old friends but more importantly how we take to the field.”

He also spoke about his relationship with former Bradford boss and current Leeds Head Coach Rohan Smith:

“Yeah there is a mutual respect and a respect that has been there since 2016 and we’ll stay for a long time, I’m sure. It is always good to catch up with him.

“There’s others at the club as well, Chev Walker for instance. Jarrod O’Connor text me the other day to say it will be good to catch up.”

He provided further comments on how Bradford played a role in Smith’s development as a coach:

“It was a different environment back then and different stability then. He then went over to Australia with the Norths Devils and was successful there.

“There will have been a lot of contributing factors to his success but Bradford was one of them.

“I’m not surprised by the success he has had. He’s a but of a rugby geek. He lives and breathes it and is always thinking about rugby, he’s intelligent and always looking for a different way to do something.”

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