Bradford Bulls ran in seven tries to give Francis Cummins the perfect start as head coach and ensure Wakefield Trinity Wildcats had a Super League XVIII opener to forget at the Provident Stadium on Sunday.
Bulls, under new ownership and with a new head coach after Cummins took over from Mick Potter, put last season’s troubles behind them with a winning start to 2013 as they eased to a 40-6 victory over a Wildcats side that never got out of the blocks.
Wakefield, who had lost on their last six visits to Bradford going into the game, were without influential half-back Tim Smith through an ankle injury but the Australian’s absence was not the cause of a lacklustre performance from start to finish.
Richard Agar’s men lacked punch in their forward pack and were sloppy defensively and offensively, while disciplinary issues did not help Wakefield’s cause - no fewer than three players were penalised for dissent and Thaler at one point put the whole team on a warning.
Bulls were charged from the off and made their intentions clear with a period of sustained pressure that saw them camped inside the Wildcats’ 20 metre line.
Wakefield’s defence managed to keep their hosts out for just eight minutes when Jarrud Sammut broke through the brittle Wildcats’ defence to start a move which resulted in winger Michael Platt crossing out wide in the left corner.
Foster, one of three players making their Bradford debuts, added the first of his six successful conversions.
Matty Blythe, on a season-long loan at the Provident Stadium from Warrington Wolves, was next over the line as Bradford’s confidence went from strength-to-strength and Wildcats were left licking their wounds.
Stand-off Brett Kearney, one of Bradford’s players of the match alongside Sammut, thought he had added a third try only for Thaler to chalk the effort off, but Bulls were not to be denied another score and less than a minute later Adam Sidlow marked his debut with a try.
Wildcats’ first half woes were complete two minutes before the interval when Sammut burst through the visiting defence from a scrum to see the hosts 22-0 to the good at half-time.
Things got no better for Wakefield on the restart when Foster ensured all three of Bulls’ new signings scored tries. Kearney produced a short kick from 10 metres out and the full-back pounced to extend Bradford’s lead.
Four minutes later Sammut grabbed his second of the match, picking up the ball 10 metres out and wrong-footing his Wakefield marker before powering over the line.
The game was over as a contest but Wakefield at least got points on the board when Kearney’s kick was charged down and Dean Collis gathered the ball to race 70 metres and touchdown. Sykes added the extras against his former club.
But Bulls had the last say of the match when Kearney grabbed a deserved try of his own, Foster kicking his sixth from seven conversions to wrap-up Wakefield’s miserable start to the campaign.
Bulls: Foster, Kear, Blythe, Lulia, Platt, Kearney, Sammut, Scruton, Diskin, Manuokafoa, Olbison, Whitehead, Walker. Subs: L’Estrange, Addy, Sidlow, Langley.
Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne, Sykes, Wildie, Poore, Aiton, Amor, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Wood, Wilkes, Singleton, Mariano.
Referee: Ben Thaler.