Cummins rues 'pathetic' defending

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Bradford were brushed aside by Salford on Sunday to leave them in big relegation trouble Bradford were brushed aside by Salford on Sunday to leave them in big relegation trouble

Bradford coach Francis Cummins branded his team's defence as "pathetic" as they crashed to a 46-18 defeat in their must-win First Utility Super League match at Salford.

The Bulls were blown away at the start by a revitalised Red Devils, who never looked back after running in three tries in the first seven minutes through Logan Tomkins, Junior Sau and man-of-the-match Rangi Chase.

"It was a horror start," Cummins said. "Defensively we were pathetic. We were not even doing the basics.

"Salford played well and they have some good players who can unlock defences but they were going through untouched through the middle and that's poor.

"Right from the start we had s ome people who were way off the pace. We got back into it a little - we didn't have ball for 10 minutes at the start - but we had used a lot of energy.

"We had some people who were way well below any kind of standard for Super League."

Bradford rallied after their woeful start, scoring tries through Elliot Kear, Tom Olbison and Gareth O'Brien, but never looked capable of getting back in the game and the home side finished strongly to ease their own relegation fears.

The Bulls' 12th defeat of the season leaves them eight points behind nearest rivals Wakefield with just 11 games left to preserve their Super League status, starting with the visit of Hull KR on Friday.

"It gets tougher," Cummins said. "We've got a short turnaround and we've got to concentrate on Hull KR. Mathematically we can still do it so that's what we've got to keep facing.

"The frustrating bit is that we probably wasted an opportunity there."

Sunday's defeat followed the Bradford club's failure to win back any of their points docked for going into administration but Cummins does not believe that setback played on his players' minds.

"Maybe a few individuals were hankering on getting some points back but it's never crossed my mind and we've never talked about it in team meetings," he said.

Salford's hero was Chase, the 2011 Man of Steel who rang rings around the Bulls as the Red Devils cruised to their first in eight league matches and their biggest of the season to ease the pressure on coach Iestyn Harris.

"We've been showing some signs for the last few weeks," Harris said. "It's been coming but in stops and starts.

"We were pretty clinical in the early stages. I thought we had a lot of energy and worked extremely hard for each other.

"We're trying to improve as a team and get in position where can have a shot at the top eight. It's a real target for us."

Chase scored two of his side's eight tries and, after taking on the goalkicking responsibility for the first time for his club, landed seven conversions to finish with 22 points in a man-of-the-match display, although he was put on report for allegedly throwing a punch.

"I thought we saw the world class in him and also the ugly but he looked a real threat with the ball and that's what we want from Rangi Chase," Harris said.

"I thought he had the bit between his teeth that he was trying to prove to himself and to us that he can play in this system. I thought he did it very well."

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