Bradford 40 Hull KR 20: Hape signs off in grand style as Rovers let early lead slip

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The Independent Online

Hull Kingston Rovers fell to their fifth consecutive defeat as Shontayne Hape marked his farewell appearance at Odsal with one of Bradford's seven tries.

Hape's 85th score in 136 appearances for the Bulls just before half-time decisively swung the momentum in Bradford's favour, establishing a lead they never relinquished.

"He came up with a nice try and he's a special kind of player," said Steve McNamara, the Bradford coach. "He's been very good for the club and he goes to Bath with our best wishes."

Paul Sykes crossed twice in a victory that, though ultimately comfortable, certainly started in more difficult fashion for the hosts.

Despite the opening try from David Solomona, it was Rovers who held the early initiative after racing into a 16-6 lead.

The England winger, Peter Fox, demonstrated his quality with a fine try less than 48 hours after playing 80 minutes for his country in Toulouse.

Paul Cooke followed Fox's lead, finishing off neat interplay with Kris Welham, before Michael Dobson latched on to Daniel Fitzhenry's pass after good play from Jake Webster.

However, Sykes' first try brought Bradford to life and Hape burst on to Solomona's pass to cap arguably his best performance of the season by nudging the hosts ahead.

Four tries in 13 minutes midway through the second half quickly killed Rovers' hopes of ending their losing streak.

Simon Finnigan scored from Ben Jeffries' break before setting free Sykes for his second. Iestyn Harris, who finished the game with 16 points, then rolled back the years by sidestepping two defenders on the way to the line.

Michael Platt completed the Bradford's scoring before Ben Cockayne added a late consolation.

"I thought we tried really hard but we didn't have a huge amount of luck," said the Rovers coach, Justin Morgan. "We kept trying until the final whistle and we showed some decent character in the last 10 minutes but we made some silly errors in the middle of the second half. We've got some positive signs but we've got to continue to work."

Bradford: Platt; Evans, Sykes, Hape, Tadulala; Harris, Jeffries; Vagana, Newton, Lynch, Solomona, Finnigan, Langley. Substitutes used: Feather, Cook, Burgess, Godwin.

Hull KR: Cockayne; Fox, Welham, Webster, Fitzhenry; Galea, Dobson; Vella, Fisher, Mills, Gene, Chester, Cooke. Substitutes used: Crossman, Lovegrove, Netherton, I'Anson.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).

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