Kearney backs Bulls appeal


15th April 2014

Bradford Bulls full-back Brett Kearney has applauded his club for attempting to win back the points docked for going into administration.

The Bulls are bottom of First Utility Super League on minus two points having been deducted six by the Rugby Football League for breaching the game's rules on insolvency for the second time in two years.

Bradford accepted their punishment in 2012, but this time the restoration of relegation, with two clubs dropping into the Championship at the end of this season, means the stakes are raised.

Kearney, an Australian who is out of contract this year, said he greeted news of the club's appeal "with a big smile".

"That's something that's not in our control but, as a player, at least you can feel the club are fighting for you," Kearney said. "Six points in our situation is massive.

"It doesn't change what we've got to do. We've not been good enough to get any points in our last five games so we still have to pick ourselves up but, if we could get that, it would be a massive boost.

"If we can't, we can't drop our heads. We've got to concentrate on the next period as if the points are gone. We're still on minus two and if they do come it would be a massive boost for us and the club."

Bradford's appeal is based on their assertion that the insolvency event arose solely as a result of force majeure, in that the club's administration occurred in circumstances that were unforeseeable and unavoidable.

The RFL says the appeal will be heard "as soon as possible" by a specially-convened independent sporting sanctions appeal panel chaired by a qualified solicitor or barrister which has the right to uphold the deduction of six points, reduce the severity of the penalty, or overthrow it.

"Any points are useful," added Kearney, who will make his 100th appearance for the Bulls in Thursday's derby with Leeds Rhinos at the Provident Stadium.

"Even with us on minus two, it will be a very close end to the season. That's why every game, especially our next few, are really important for us."

Bradford coach Francis Cummins said: "It would be great to get any points back. It's obviously not in our hands and I hope everything happens and falls in our favour for once.

"It would be nice to put some pressure on other clubs then. I'm not overly concerned about the bottom but you just want to be in the mix of the clubs around us.

"We are having to win a couple of extra games before we get back to there, so that would help.

"Hopefully something good will come of it and it will give us a little bit of a boost."

Meanwhile Cummins has lost the services of Huddersfield Giants prop Anthony Mullally, but the Bulls have agreed a new deal to keep his Ireland team-mate Danny Bridge on loan for the rest of the season.

Mullally, 22, has played in six of the Bulls' eight Super League matches so far this year but has been recalled by the Giants, who go into the Easter programme on the back of four straight defeats.

"Huddersfield aren't in great form and I'm assuming they are taking him back because someone isn't going to be playing," Cummins said.

"He will want to shake things up over there and it's unfortunate for us - but he's their player and their calls."

Warrington Wolves also have the right to recall the 21-year-old Bridge at any time but he is set to make his eighth appearance in the derby with the Rhinos.

Cummins is still hoping to follow up the signing of Catalan Dragons forward Jamal Fakir with more permanent acquisitions but believes that will not be possible until after Easter.

"I'm always looking but clubs are always reluctant to let anyone go, especially over Easter," he said.

"Now they are bringing players back so it's going to be after Easter before everything starts to calm down a little bit."