Preview: Bradford Bulls vs Hull KR

With the Championship shield already secured, Hull KR travel to Odsal looking to make it a hat-trick of wins over the once mighty Bradford Bulls on Sunday afternoon.

The win over nearest rivals London Broncos last week tied up top spot with three rounds of the regular season to spare but coach Tim Sheens has resisted the temptation of making wholesale changes to his squad, instead looking to build momentum and continuity going into the all important Middle 8s.

The only change from last week’s 19-man-squad sees Andrew Heffernan drop out with a slight shoulder problem to be replaced by young flier Will Oakes.

Will he start? Oakes in the 19 in place of Andrew Heffernan.

Oakes has been in imperious form for the COHA recently and definitely deserves a first team recall. He played at St Helens for the Academy on Friday night.

Sheens will be looking for the Robins to start the game in the same manner has they did last week against the Broncos when they blitzed the Londoners early on and built up a commanding lead before taking their foot of the gas in the second half. This drop in intensity will have not gone unnoticed by Sheens who will expect his charges to go for the full 80 minutes, because come the Middle 8s only eighty minute performances will do.

Although rooted to the bottom of the table, the Bulls will provide a stern test on their own patch were they are unbeaten in 9 games since Easter and so nearly snatched a win over the Robins in Blackpool.

Bulls coach, Geoff Toovey believes that if his side can maintain a healthy completion rate and his forwards match up to the Robins pack then his side have every chance of turning the table upside down for one game at least.

He has added three handy recruits to his squad in the last ten days with ex Cas and Wakefield back, Ashley Gibson, young half back Cory Aston from Leeds on loan and Tweeds Head Seagulls co-captain and prop Damien Sironen coming in.

Bulls new import, Damien Sironen.

Sironen had, had conversations with Sheens about joining Rovers earlier this year, but nothing materialised and Sheens put Sironen onto the Bulls’ radar.

Competition for places in the Robins starting 17 is definitely hotting up with a host of regulars due back soon, so those that take the field at Odsal know that only 80 minute performances will be enough to keep them in contention each week between now and the end of the season.

FanaticHull Predictions

Dan: Rovers by 28

Daz: Rovers by 7

Dave: Bulls by 8

Ian: Rovers by 24

Jack: Rovers by 32

Sam: Rovers by 36

Shaun: Rovers by 2

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