FRANCIS CUMMINS has expressed his delight following yesterday's fightback, which resulted in a convincing Tetley's Challenge Cup victory over Catalan Dragons.
The Bradford Bulls head coach saw his men overturn an initial 16-point deficit to run out 33-20 winners at The Provident Stadium, booking their spot in the competition's quarter-finals.
“The last few weeks have been frustrating but the character that we showed today was fantastic – we have earned a great win and provided a much-imrpoved performance,” said Cummins.
“I have never questioned my players' character, but we have been nowhere close to our best recently.
“Yesterday's win provided a massive boost for everyone involved here, both players and staff.
“Everyone had written us off, making this one even more special for us.
“Our mindset was superb. I felt we played with great patience, even when facing a three-try deficit, and it paid off.
“We forced errors and our forwards were tremendous. The boys worked together, for one another, battled back and delivered a huge victory for the club.
“Against a huge team, which boasts bigger men in its back row than we have up front, we came up with the goods and I am very proud.”
Cummins has also paid tribute to the support shown from the Bradford faithful on Sunday afternoon – and the efforts of his Bulls.
In a tactical switch, stand-off Lee Gaskell switched places with full-back Brett Kearney – just minutes after the kick-off.
And Cummins' manuover appeared to pay off, with the home side battling back having trailed by three unanswered tries after just a quarter of an hour of fifth-round action.
“Lee played extremely well and equally so did Brett, giving me options now they have proved they can perform in different positions,” he added.
“Matt Diskin returning was also important because we have missed his presence. He has a calming influence and settles the side.
“Jay Pitts, making his debut for the club, I felt, put in a great shift and Luke George was also terrific. We are glad to finally have him back and fighting fit.
“Even more so, the supporters found their voice again today. It was nothing short of remarkable.
“I know this is not a huge result in terms of the bigger picture but it is a massive step forward for us.
“I needed to see this performance, as did everyone involved in Bradford Bulls, and now we have proved we can go toe-to-toe with good teams.
“Everyone expected us to lose but the players have been working so hard and I am glad it has finally been shown.”
The Bulls return to action on Sunday afternoon, with eighth-placed Warrington Wolves in town (kick-off 3.00pm).
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