Crookes steals glory for Bulls
Hull KR 24 Bradford Bulls 36
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
new craven park
Sunday 11 March 2012
A hat-trick of tries from Jason Crookes maintained the Bulls' unlikely 100 per cent away record with an even more unlikely fightback on Humberside.
Trailing 24-8 early in the second half, Bradford hit the Robins with five unanswered tries, with Crookes creating one as well as scoring three as the Bulls moved into the play-off positions.
Bradford's away form has been the bright spot of their season, but this was a match which threatened to gallop away from them. Kris Welham wasted little time in showing his quality, latching on to Michael Dobson's deft kick for the first try inside the first three minutes.
When Brett Kearney took out Shannon McDonnell with a late tackleas the full-back chased his own kick and Mickey Paea scored from close range, Dobson's second conversion had the Bulls in danger of losing touch.
But the contest changed when Kearney threatened to go the length of the field with a stolen ball. Josh Hodgson hunted him down, but Bradford scored anyway when Keith Lulia's flick pass released Jason Crookes.
On the half hour it was, astonishingly in view of what had gone before, two tries apiece. Rovers could not cope with Ben Jeffries' kick and Danny Addy funnelled it to Karl Pryce, who celebrated his second Bulls debut, after five years away, with a simple try.
The scoreline was given a more realistic look before the break, when a twinkle-toed side-stepping run from Dobson set up Hodgson.
Rovers carried their good work into the second half, when Welham went past Jeffries to put a try on a plate for Craig Hall. Hall's pass to Graeme Horne would have produced another,had it not been ruled forward.
The Bulls' best chance of getting back into the game looked to have disappeared when Elliott Whitehead knocked-on in a promising position, but Crookes burrowed over for his second try, with Jarrod Sammut's first successful conversion cutting the margin to 10 points.
Kearney could have made it even closer, but could not turn another raid into points. Instead, Crookes showed another aspect to his play with a clever little kick from his wing for his captain, Matt Diskin, to pinch it from Rhys Lovegrove and touch down.
Whitehead made up for his earliererror with a defence splitting break that put Kearney over for the converted try that put Bradford ahead. Chev Walker kept them there with a crunching tackle on Dobson and then had a potential clinching try disallowed. That was rendered academic when Crookes squeezed in from another fine pass from Lulia, who completed the scoring in the last minute.
Hull KR: McDonnell; Hall, Welham, Webster, Latus; Lovegrove, Dobson; Paea, Withers, Taylor, Mika, Horne, Hodgson. Substitutes used Murrell, Clinton, Watts, Netherton.
Bradford: Kearney; Crookes, Lulia, Walker, Pryce; Sammut, Jeffries; Hargreaves, Diskin, Manuokafoa, Bateman, Whitehead, Langley. Substitutes used Addy, L'Estrange, Scruton, Burgess.
Referee S Ganson (St Helens).
- 1 I was raped by another man. And now the Government wants to take away the one thing that saved my life
- 2 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 3 Ricky Gervais jokes about 'battering Danish DJ to death with a bicycle pump' after rabbit killed
- 4 Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
- 5 England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote