Kingstone Press Championship Preview: Whitehaven V Bradford

It’s a real David V Golliath fixture as Whitehaven welcome Bradford to the Recreation Ground on Saturday night with the start of the West Cumbrian’s drive to get more people back down supporting the side, the Saturday night fixtures have been a controversial move since they were announced at the back end of 2015.

Despite the tough fixture the home side will be looking to get their first victory of the season after a heavy defeat in Round 1. Haven were defeated as they conceded 52 against Halifax in a sub-standard performance which they only avoided being nilled when Elliott Miller scored in the final two minutes.

Whitehaven welcome back Thomas Coyle and Connor Holliday to their 19 man squad while experienced winger Craig Calvert and utility forward Stephen Fox misses out for the visit of the Bulls.

The Bulls had the better on the two occasions they met last season with a 34-4 victory at Osdal and in the corresponding fixture it was a 32-16 victory for James Lowes’s men.

Bradford got their championship campaign underway with a 22-12 victory over Featherstone Rovers where Omari Caro scored an hat-rick. Lee Gaskell also touched down for the home side in a victory that already puts them two points ahead of rivals Leigh Centurions for league leaders as they suffered a shock defeat to Batley.

James Lowes has named Rhys Lovegrove in his 19 man squad after he signed from London Broncos on a one month trial. He is one of three changes as Joe Lumb and Mitch Clark have also been added to the squad replacing Epalahame Lauaki, Ben Kavanagh and Oscar Thomas.

Whitehaven’s 19 man squad – Jouffret, Miller, Taylor, Parker, Holliday, Aiye, Gore, Brooks, Newton, Beaumont, Allen, Davies, Riley, Burns, Brocklebank, Coyle, T Chapelhow, J Chapelhow, Chamberlain.

Bradford’s 19 man squad – Clare, Pitts, Purtell, Mathers, Lovegrove, Welham, Gaskell, O’Brien, Sidlow, Caro, Clark, Blythe, Addy, Olbison, Mellor, Haggerty, Ferguson, Lumb, Walker.


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