Tomorrow sees the return of one of the biggest fixtures in rugby league which we sadly now rarely see: Leeds Rhinos vs Bradford Bulls.
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 tomorrow at Headingley and Bradford boss Mark 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.”
Focusing on his own team, Dunning said he is more concerned with process rather than outcome:
“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.”