The Bradford coach, Mick Potter, has cranked up the feeling for today's meeting with Wigan by accusing the champions of dubious tactics.
Potter was St Helens coach when they lost to Wigan in last year's Grand Final and he is part of a chorus of voices claiming that the Warriors got away with too much in the tackle last season. "I think they are still using some questionable tackle techniques," he said.
His objection is to the wrestling techniques that not only slow down the play-the-ball but can also put undue strain on an opponent's shoulder joints. On the face of it, Potter's complaint could be borne out by the two-match ban dished out to Wigan's new forward, Jeff Lima, for two instances of that offence in the draw with Saints at Cardiff.
Wigan decided against appealing that ban and the Kiwi internationalwill miss the match at Odsal, plus the World Club Challenge against St George-Illawarra next Sunday.
By way of compensation in the front row, Stuart Fielden is fit to return after knee surgery for his first game this year. Amos Roberts is also expected to play, after missing last week for the birth of his child. He could be particularly valuable during Pat Richards' absence for the early weeks of the season, while Josh Charnley retains his place in the squad after a good performance against Saints.
Bradford's frustrating late defeat by Leeds in Cardiff has left them with a legacy of serious injuries, with Jamie Langley and Kyle Briggs both expected to be out for up to six weeks.
Marc Herbert is still not fit to make his debut at scrum-half, so the local products, Danny Addy and Tom Olbison, are added to the squad. Warrington also have a hangover from the Magic Weekend, with Matt King, Chris Bridge and Mike Cooper all ruled out against Hull KR. Lee Briers and Simon Grix have recovered sufficiently from their knocks to play. The other good news is that King's knee ligament injury is not as bad as first feared. Rovers, still waiting for news of Willie Mason and his work permit, are likely to be unchanged, although Jason Netherton is fit again and added to the squad.
Crusaders are likely to be without last year's leading try-scorer, Vince Mellars, at Harlequins. Jamie Murphy is added to the squad, but Tony Martin is in line to move to centre with Jarrod Sammut starting at stand-off. There are still no places for the two players loaned from Wigan, Karl Pryce and Joe Mellor, in Quins' side after their good win over Catalans.
Huddersfield have sent three of their most promising young players – Joe Wardle, Adam Walker and Gregg McNally – on loan to the Championship club Barrow. All three could make their debuts in the Northern Rail Cup match against Featherstone Rovers today.Reuse content