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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Hape hits out as Paul quits Bulls
By Phil Harlow

Robbie Paul
It's bamboozled me how the club can let people like [Robbie Paul] go and I didn't really know that when I signed my contract
Shontayne Hape
Shontayne Hape has criticised Bradford for allowing Robbie Paul to leave after 11 years at the Super League club.

Paul became the sixth big name to exit Odsal when he joined Huddersfield - and Hape is unhappy at the way the Bulls have treated their club captain.

"He has been there since 1994 and helped build the club's success in Super League," Hape told BBC Sport.

"I don't think that's the way to treat someone who has given so much to the club, both on and off the field."

Paul had 12 months left on his contract but was given permission to find a new club after slipping down the pecking order in his favoured half-back role.

The Bulls blamed salary-cap restrictions for Paul's departure, but Hape said more could have been done to keep his fellow Kiwi.

"I was devastated when I first found out because I talked to him just before I signed my contract," said Hape.

"He still had a year to go on his and was pretty sure he was going to stay.

The fact we knew Robbie and several other guys were leaving helped us finish the season so well
Shontayne Hape
"So when I found out he was going to Huddersfield I was disappointed with the club and how they handled it.

"Off the field, he's been brilliant for the club and the sport in terms of marketing the game.

"I just think the way the club handled it wasn't right.

"By announcing it now, they haven't even given the fans the chance to send him off properly at Odsal.

"He knows it's a business and that things like this happen. He doesn't really show that he's disappointed, but deep down I know that he is."

Hape has developed a close friendship with Paul since arriving at Bradford in 2003.

Shontayne Hape
Hape is hoping to make a real impact in the Tri-Nations series
And the 23-year-old said the close bond between the players had helped carry the Bulls to their Grand Final win over Leeds.

"The fact we knew Robbie and several other guys were leaving helped us finish the season so well," said Hape.

"We all wanted to send them off on a high."

Paul's departure follows those of Jamie Peacock, Leon Pryce, Stuart Reardon, Rob Parker and Lee Radford.

And Hape admitted he was worried about Bradford's strength in depth.

"I just think it's going to be tough, though, with the guys we've lost in key positions," he said.

"It's bamboozled me how the club can let people like that go and I didn't really know that when I signed my contract."

The Bulls have attempted to make up for the loss of several players by signing Leeds duo Marcus Bai and Chris McKenna.

And Hape believes they can make a major contribution to the Bradford's hopes of beating Wests Tigers in the World Club Challenge.

"People go on about their age but their experience will be great for one-off games like the World Club Challenge," said the New Zealand international.

"And Brian Noble will always get you up for the big games."




SEE ALSO
Paul completes Huddersfield move
25 Oct 05 |  Huddersfield
Bradford move for Leeds flyer Bai
24 Oct 05 |  Bradford
Parker moves to Wolves from Bulls
19 Oct 05 |  Warrington
Bradford sign utility player Gene
19 Oct 05 |  Bradford
Wolves recruit Parker from Bulls
17 Oct 05 |  Warrington


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