Bradford seek sprinkle of Cardiff magic dust

One near certainty about the Millennium Magic Weekend of Super League games in Cardiff is that Bradford and Leeds will not quite be able to replicate the drama and controversy of last year.

A combination of the Rhinos' opportunism and a refereeing fiasco saw Leeds steal the game in the last minute, but the Bradford coach, Steve McNamara, and his side have long since stopped brooding over it.

"Last year's gone and although that drama will be remembered for many years, it's this year that matters," he said.

Not surprisingly, Steve Ganson and Ashley Klein who were largely responsible for last year's injustice are being kept well away from the rematch this time. Richard Silverwood will referee, with Phil Bentham in the video booth.

But the scorer of the crucial try, Jordan Tansey, is in the Leeds squad, along with the French loan signing, Eric Anselm, and Ryan Hall, who is preferred to Lee Smith.

Bradford are without Ben Jeffries with a hamstring strain, which gives Iestyn Harris a chance to start at what was once his adopted home. He needs two tries for a career total of 150 for his various clubs, or two points for his 300 for the Bulls and it would be appropriate if he reached one or more of those milestones at the Millennium Stadium.

Castleford are bringing Dwain Chambers to Cardiff, but only to watch the second game on the bill against Wakefield, who have Matty Dale, on loan from Hull, in line for his debut.

The honour of kicking off the whole thing goes to Huddersfield and Warrington, who are without the suspended Jon Clarke.

The Rugby League is confident of improving on last year's encouraging attendance figures and breaking the 70,000 barrier.

Not too many of those will be there primarily to watch tomorrow's first game, between the Catalan Dragons and Harlequins, but with the French side second in Super League it is a significant contest.

Hull versus Hull KR is not a fixture that needs a great deal of hyping up, but Rovers' success in signing Michael Dobson – a previous target for Hull – this week, will add an extra edge. Hull will be without their full-back, Motu Tony, with a long-term knee injury, but have Matt Sing back after a broken hand.

Top of the bill this year are St Helens and Wigan, who agreed this week to release Trent Barrett from the final year of his contract at the end of this season. The more immediate question is how much of a contribution he will be fit enough to make to this game after recent knee surgery.

Wigan are already without Gareth Hock, serving a one-match suspension, and need Barrett to demonstrate his continuing commitment.

Wigan have been told that they must release their scrum-half, Thomas Leuluai, for next Friday's trans-Tasman Test, as must Leeds with Brent Webb.

Both clubs are "disappointed" with the International Federation's ruling that Test commitments must take priority over club duties.

* A club record crowd of 6,152 saw the Celtic Crusaders underline their Super League ambitions by beating Featherstone 28-18 at Bridgend last night. Tries at the end of each half from the Welsh international winger, Anthony Blackwood, made the difference for the Crusaders, who have applied for one of the Super League licences to be allocated in July.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee