This weekend sees the Championship Shield get underway and Whitehaven welcome Bradford to the Recreation Ground as Haven have reverted to Sunday afternoon fixtures after their experiment of Saturday evening fixutres during the regular league campaign.

Both sides have had turbulent few weeks, Haven’s being on the field as they could field 15 players to taken on Sheffield in the last of the regular season fixtures with coach James Coyle naming 11 players who couldn’t take their places. It turned into a difficult game for the side who found themselves bottom with a defeat and who haven’t won since the Summer bash in May.

The Bulls have had a difficult few weeks since defeat at Featherstone on the final day of the regular campaign saw them consigned to the Championship Shield and an opportunity of playing Super League next season gone. Since that game. The Bulls have had a winding up order petition, their chief executive Steve Ferres has resigned and their bank account frozen which resulted in all staff getting paid late. Chairman Marc Green cut his holiday short and released a statement saying the rumours were nothing but “media scaremongering”

The two fixtures between these two sides earlier in the season seen easy victories for the Bulls on both occasions. The round 2 seen an 46-10 victory up in Cumbria and then a rampant 64-18 victory at Osdal where the Bulls were 52-0 up at half time – a world record score.

Despite a huge victory against Haven, the Bulls have only won 3 of their last 6 games and although Haven haven’t won since Blackpool, they will be looking to kick off their seven game campaign for survival on a high.

Prediction – Bulls by 26.

Squads

Whitehaven – Jouffret, Aiye, Calvert, Taylor, Allen, Perez, Gore, Duffy, Newton, Walker, T.Chapelhow, Davies, Riley, Carberry, Fox, Burns, Forster, Holliday, Ince

Bradford – Blythe, Pitts, Williams, Chisholm, Charnock, O’Brien, Sidlow, Haggerty, Keyes, Olbison, Crossley, Mellor, Addy, Lauaki, Welham, Howarth, Moss, Kavanagh, Oakes.