Briscoe scores four against depleted Bulls

Bradford Bulls 18 Hull FC 26
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The Independent Online

Four tries from the Hull full-back Shaun Briscoe brought them a famous victory at Odsal last night as the Bulls failed to overcome the absence of key players.

Four tries from the Hull full-back Shaun Briscoe brought them a famous victory at Odsal last night as the Bulls failed to overcome the absence of key players.

Led superbly by Richard Swain, Hull's defence frequently creaked but held solid enough to give Briscoe, signed from Wigan this winter, his chance for glory, which he ceased upon with eager opportunism.

If there is such a thing as a good time to play Bradford at Odsal, last night should have been it, with Robbie Paul and both juggernaut wingers both missing. There was no obvious lack of firepower in their early work, however, with Paul Deacon's inch-perfect pass sending Shontayne Hape through a big gap in the Hull defence for the night's first try.

With the elder Richie Barnett ruled out by a virus and Bradford peppering the younger one with kicks, the Hull defence looked fragile. They did at least get on the scoreboard when Paul Cooke landed two penalties in quick succession.

They even went close to snatching the lead when, after a wonderful crossfield pass from Richard Swain, Kirk Yeaman lost the ball in Paul Johnson's tackle as he went over the try line.

Instead, Deacon kicked Bradford further ahead with a penalty, but a four-point deficit would not have been a bad scoreline for Hull, considering the early pressure they had been under.

It got even better for them in the last minute before the break, though, when Swain's immaculate service gave Richard Horne the chance to serve up an equally precise pass for Briscoe to level the scores.

Two minutes into the second half, Leon Pryce stood in the tackle to present the ball to Deacon for a close-range try, which he converted before putting over a penalty for interference at the play-the-ball.

It took a lovely try, engineered by Horne, Peter Lupton and Gareth Raynor and scored by Briscoe, to bring Hull back into the game although a stupid penalty conceded by Yeaman allowed Deacon to put over another penalty to make it a four-point lead once more.

That was wiped out by another incisive Hull try, begun by Swain and continued by Chris Chester with Briscoe arriving in support again to complete his hat-trick.

The visitors had plenty of defending to do after that but they made sure of the points when the inspired Briscoe latched onto Deacon's kick and sprinted 60 yards to complete a memorable night for him and his team.

Bradford: Withers; K Pryce, Johnson, Hape, Reardon; L Pryce, Deacon; Vagana, Smith, Fielden, Parker, Peacock, Swann. Substitutes used: Bridge, Radford, Langley, Anderson.

Hull: Briscoe; Raynor, Best, Yeaman, Barnett Jnr; Cooke, Horne; Dowes, Swain, Carvell, McMenemy, McNicholas, Chester. Substitutes used: King, Lupton, Whiting, Hill.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

Danny McGuire continued his prolific start to the season as Tetley's Super League leaders Leeds recorded an eighth successive win last night, beating Wakefield 36-12. The stand-off McGuire touched down twice in the first half as the Rhinos overpowered their local rivals in front of a bumper crowd at Belle Vue. McGuire's efforts took his tally for the season to 13.