Hull KR's Jordan Cox won't be fazed by physical battle at Bradford Bulls
IT'S a good job Jordan Cox relishes a physical battle. Because they don't come much tougher than heading to a resurgent Bradford Bulls.
Flying high in the table after surviving their financial troubles last season, the Bulls are Super League's early-season surprise package.
Having overcome administration, a points deduction and the possibility of extinction, the fact they are still in business is testament to the fans and players.
But with coach Francis Cummins at the helm and assembling a Bulls side which again thrives on its pack power, Cox knows the Robins must be on their guard at Odsal tomorrow.
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"We need to be winning games like this, even though they are flying high in the table," he told the Mail.
"I am surprised they are so high, especially after last year, but they have overcome the adversity they had off the pitch.
"They have become really strong so it'll be a good physical battle.
"I love the physical bit of the game and the best place to be is in the middle where you get plenty of ball and you make plenty of tackles and work hard for the team.
"Bradford have a big pack and Manese Manuokafoa is a big strong force to be reckoned with.
"But we can only put our best foot forward and match them."
Not only is the Bulls' pack making life easy for their half-backs by making plenty of metres, but they are also keeping defences on the hop with their ability to off-load.
Rovers have practiced trying to stop their expansive style in training this week and Cox hopes their hard work will pay dividends.
"We've talked about a couple of their players who like an off-load," he explained.
"It's inevitable they will get one or two away but we have to be ready to deal with that.
"We've worked on it in training with the taller players like me and James Green off-loading as often as we can.
"Jarrod Sammut is a good off-the-cuff player but it's not a one-man game any more.
"Anyone can be a match winner these days and we have to worry about them all as a team rather than as individuals."
Still only 20, tomorrow's clash in West Yorkshire will only be the 20th of Cox's stop-start career.
Last year, Cox saw his season cut short when he was forced to have his spleen removed after seven of the eight pints of blood in his body were found to be sitting in his stomach.
Since suffering and overcoming that life-threatening injury, he goes into every game knowing things can never be as bad again.
"Nothing can happen that is worse than that," Cox reflects.
"I had the worst three months of my life. I lost 16 kilos and looked like a skeleton. Since then, I've learned to look on the bright side of things.
"By constantly looking on the negative side all the time, all the good things will pass you by.
"The whole incident has made me a better and stronger person.
"Everything has worked out in a positive way, especially after how close I came to dying.
"After that I said there's nothing to worry about because it can't happen again.
"I'm up for the challenge and I feel I can only get better."