Hargreaves feels ‘helpless’ with Bradford’s plight

Bryn Hargreaves
Bryn Hargreaves

FORMER St Helens prop Bryn Hargreaves admits the Bradford players are feeling helpless, despite producing the goods on the field.

“Things will have a way of working themselves out,” he said. “Whether that’s for the good or the bad, we’ll just have to deal with it. We can’t do anything more.

“Playing rugby is our job and what we’re paid to do. We’re pieces of meat and we’re not paid to have an opinion.

“I really feel for Elliot Kear, Jarrod Sammut and Ben Jeffries who have been through administration just last year.”

Sammut has probably more reason than most of his Bradford team-mates to be anxious as they wait for news of a potential buyer for the ailing Super League club.

Going into administration with all the uncertainty that it entails has been traumatic for the entire Bulls squad but for Sammut, as well as Welshman Elliott Kear and fellow Australian Ben Jeffries, the experience has been painfully familiar.

Both Sammut and Kear went through a similar ordeal with their former club Crusaders, who went into administration on the eve of the 2011 season and, although they played out their campaign, they eventually went into liquidation, leaving the players stranded.

Jeffries was at Wakefield at the start of last season when they, too, went into administration, although there was a happy ending when new owner Andrew Glover came to the rescue.

“It’s not nice,” said Sammut. “You want to put those things behind you and move forward and, in the space of 12 months, you’re going through it again.

“I think the situation here and the way it’s been handled is more extreme than it was at Crusaders.

“Everyone is going through it so you can’t just think ‘why me?’.”

The irony has not been lost on Sammut’s Bradford team-mates, who have made him the butt of their jokes by labelling him a jinx.

“It’s definitely been thrown around,” said Sammut, who believes the turmoil has had a galvanising effect on the players, as demonstrated by their tremendous win at leaders Wigan followed by Sunday’s emphatic victory over London Broncos.

“At the moment we’ve just got each other. Obviously we joke about it. We’re not too sure what’s going to happen at this stage.

“In times like this it brings you together. All we can do is support one another. We’ve also got the fans out there and the general public.

“Obviously we need to have a laugh and keep smiling, even though the circumstances are not the greatest.

“We’re here for one another. At times like these, it just shows why rugby league is one of the greatest sports going around.

“We’ve had support, not just from the local community, but rugby league fans in general and just people out there who are really wanting us to pull through it.”

The 25-year-old former Penrith Panthers half-back is among 17 Bradford players out of contract at the end of the season and concerned over both their long and short-term futures.

“It’s our livelihoods at stake here,” he added. “We’ve got family and mortgages. At the moment everything rests on the hope that someone will step in and save the club.

“I would say anger is there but it’s also the frustration of not knowing.”