Five things: Oh Mandy, a Giant gameplan & common sense

Neil Barraclough

One – Oh, Mandy!

Sunday afternoon at Odsal wasn’t pretty once more, but Mandy Koukash and her pink scarf did their best to brighten another dull day for the Bulls faithful.

The woman who hopes to take control this week watched the first half from the Coral Stand before switching to the seats in the main stand for most of the second period.

Huddersfield’s 10th try of 12 prompted one local to issue some particularly Yorkshire advice – “keep your money in your pocket, love” – but quote of the day came from Paul Anderson, once one quarter of the Bulls’ awesome foursome but now a concerned observer of his former club.

Anderson said: “The really positive thing is that there’s some rumblings something’s going to happen. The good doctor’s wife seems keen and if his wife is like my wife she won’t be scared of spending his money.”

Two – A Giant gameplan

Anderson also revealed the high-level tactics that go into Huddersfield each week.

When probed by one reporter about his game-plan against a Bulls side woefully short of props, Anderson responded in typically blunt fashion.

“It’s simple every week,” he said. “When you’ve got the ball, run as hard as you can. When you haven’t got the ball, belt them. It’s a simple game.”

Three – Headingley’s loan ranger

A strong return for Ben Jones-Bishop on Friday left Brian McDermott with more questions than answers.

How do you keep happy three international quality wingers in the same squad?

And what do you do with the one who doesn’t get picked?

Asked about sending Jones-Bishop on loan, McDermott said: “I’ve no intention to send him anywhere just yet, but at the same time there’s a desire from both him and us that he plays. We’re not farming Bish out; if he’s there or thereabouts with us, we’ll keep him.

“But if he’s not getting enough game time he’s going to need to play somewhere. But if we send him to another Super League club, we lose him for a month. I don’t like that and I don’t know who that serves.”

There was also confusion for McDermott when he misheard a question about Leeds’ record of conceding just 46 points in their first five games.

He said: “I had in my head that you were saying we’d conceded 46 points in each of our five games and I was thinking ‘have we?’ I’m not at London anymore.”

Four – Capital punishment

McDermott’s quip could be considered cruel if it wasn’t so accurate.

The Broncos have shipped 227 points in five matches, averaging out at 45.4 points per game.

Josh Drinkwater insisted London were “100 per cent” able to avoid relegation in the build up to their 50-22 whacking by Wakefield in front of a pitiful crowd of 1,017.

Blind optimism? It seems the bug’s catching, with Tony Rea the latest to indulge.

Rea said: “Score lines against us like this will not break us, they will mould us.

“I know people will be down on us after this, but we’re not down on ourselves.

“We’ll be OK – we just need to harden up a bit.”

Five – Common sense coaching

If Tony Rea’s under pressure, imagine what Laurent Frayssinous is copping.

Still without a win and with Huddersfield and Wigan next up, Catalan could easily be 0 from 7 in a fortnight’s time.

Nathan Brown insists Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett couldn’t rescue the injury-stricken Dragons and urged the Dragons to stick with Frayssinous.

Brown said: “When most of your high paid players in key position are watching, you’ll go through a tough time.

“I just hope the chairman there uses some common sense, sees it for what it is and gives Laurent a good shot at it.”

Thoughts? We’d love to hear your views in the comments box below.

Follow Neil Barraclough on Twitter @neilbarraclough