Bradford 38 Huddersfield 12: Bulls are up and running

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The Independent Online

The Bulls were quickly into their stride, Glenn Morrison and Sam Burgess linking beautifully to send Terry Newton over after just three minutes.

With Morrison leading the way, Bradford threatened to do further damage in the early stages, but then it was their turn to defend as a series of fiendishly accurate kicks pinned them back on their own line.

Bradford reversed that pressure through the tenacious tackling of Paul Sykes and Jamie Langley behind the Huddersfield try-line, forcing what turned out to be a weak drop-out from Chris Thorman. They capitalised through Paul Deacon's darting run and Simon Finnigan's try with his first touch of the ball after coming off the bench for his Bradford debut. With Deacon landing both conversions, the Bulls were well on their way.

They were slowed down, however, when Michael Platt's wild pass cost them possession near their own line and George Gatis' pass gave Luke Robinson the chance to skip through some static defence, with the video referee dismissing a suspicion of obstruction.

Bradford responded instantly, Morrison grabbing a loose ball and Sykes providing the final pass for James Evans to squeeze over in the corner.

The Bulls were rampant again now and were through for their fourth converted try two minutes before the interval, Finnigan taking Newton's short pass for his second of the evening.

Bradford got their season started with a convincing victory highlighted by a towering performance from their Great Britain forward, Sam Burgess, and a perfect kicking display from Paul Deacon.

Deacon landed seven goals from seven attempts and played a part in a couple of his side's tries, but it was the rampaging form of Burgess, at loose-forward rather than his past role of prop, that really caught the eye.

As for Huddersfield, they clearly have worse defensive problems than during their seven-game losing streak at the start of last season and Bradford were only too happy to take advantage.

That gave Huddersfield a giant task in the second half, but they made a start on it when Deacon's high kick went astray and allowed a long-range counterattack, finished off by Paul Whatuira.

They almost had another immediately after when Platt held up Shane Elford on the try-line, but they had issued a warning to which the Bulls responded with Deacon's penalty on the hour.

All hope was finally extinguished when Chris Thorman's poor pass rebounded into the arms of Sykes, who held off Telford's flailing attempts to tackle him.< Morrison also got over with three minutes to play to emphasise Bradford's superiority and show Huddersfield how much they need to improve if they are to match last season's achievement of reaching the play-offs.

Bradford: Platt, Evans, Sykes, Nero, Hape, Harris, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, Langley, Morrison, Burgess. Subs: Halley, Godwin, Finnigan, James.

Huddersfield: Thurman, Elford, Whatuira, Wild, Jensen, Brown, Robinson, Griffin, Hudson, Skandalis, Lolesi, Snitch, Raleigh. Subs: Crabtree, Gatis, Jones, Jackson.

Referee: B Thaler (Castleford).

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