Bulls off the mark despite Crusaders' comeback

 

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The Independent Online

Bradford claimed their first Super League points of the season last night with a 30-26 victory after a scrappy affair at Wrexham.

The rebuilt Bulls are still misfiring but were never really tested by the error-prone Crusaders, who at least kept at their work and ran in three tries in the last 11 minutes.

"It's good to get off the mark, but we certainly didn't do it the easiest way," said the visitors' man of the match, Brett Kearney.

The Bulls lost Chev Walker early on with pectoral damage, but they led via an Andy Lynch try after eight minutes. Crusaders levelled through Michael Witt's dummy and dart after a Shaun Ainscough knock-on, but the Bulls took control with two tries as half-time neared.

Shad Royston crossed and then provided the pass for Ainscough after Bradford had kept the ball alive with dazzling improvisation.

Patrick Ah Van's third goal made Bulls comfortable and Matt Diskin's close-range try soon after the break seemed to kill off the contest.

But the wing Gareth Thomas got Crusaders back into it with a strong finish before, cruelly, he made the mistake that cost the match, Heath L'Estrange capitalising on his fumble. The home side's grandstand finish saw Jarrod Sammut cross and then in the last two minutes Clinton Schifcofske wrestled his way over and Tony Martin added another.

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