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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 October, 2004, 22:21 GMT 23:21 UK
Gutted but trying to stay upbeat
Bradford skipper Robbie Paul
By Robbie Paul
Bradford Bulls captain

It goes without saying that I'm absolutely gutted about the way things turned out at Old Trafford.

I've won and lost Grand Finals in the past and this feels as bad as any defeat I've been a part of.

I don't need anyone to tell me that dropping the ball with a few minutes to go wasn't what the doctor ordered, but we've always won as a team and we'll lose as a team as well.

I know it was a mistake but all players make mistakes. It cost us in this instance and I'll just be doing my utmost to put it behind me and move on.

If you can't handle the odd setback then rugby league is not the sport for you

If you want to succeed at this sport you have no choice but to move on. It's all part of the experience of being a professional rugby league player.

I'm in the New Zealand squad for the Tri-Nations, and that will give me the chance to focus my energies on something more positive straight away.

I'm so pleased that the tournament is already in full swing and that I will barely have a spare minute to dwell on what went wrong at Old Trafford.

Playing for New Zealand has always meant a lot to me so I don't need any extra motivation.

Looking back at the match, we lost a lot of possession in the first 10 minutes and we started to lose the energy battle from there on in. We just had to make so many tackles.

It has to go down as a disappointing season for Bradford, but how do you follow 2003?

We had the occasional creative spark but, as Brian Noble said, we just didn't have the field position.

But I don't want to take anything away from Leeds. They've been excellent all season and you can't really say that they don't deserve this success.

They play to their system so well and they keep their patience, so all credit to them.

We certainly deserved to be here in the Grand Final on the basis of what we've produced this season and if we'd played to our potential we could even have won.

It has to go down as a disappointing season for Bradford, but how do you follow 2003?

Looking on the bright side, we will be totally focused on the next domestic season once the Tri-Nations is over.

There will be no World Club Challenge to distract us -and I can't tell you how hungry we're going to be for some silverware.




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