Fox does the trick for Rovers

Hull KR 49 Bradford 24: Wing scores three in romp as Bradford slump to worst losing run since 1964
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Bradford hit a new low as Peter Fox, the man who could have won the Hull derby, took his frustration out on them with a hat-trick of tries. The Bulls came here striving to avoid a record 10th consecutive defeat, their worst run since the club was re-formed after folding in 1964. Injuries forced them to play two back-row forwards, Steve Menzies and Danny Addy, as half-backs and, not surprisingly, they were under pressure from the start.

After only four minutes Fox, the England wing who had so nearly won Rovers' game against Hull in the last minute nine days earlier, took Michael Dobson's cut-out pass. A pair of penalties then put the Bulls under the cosh again, with Sam Latus crossing for his first Super League try from Scott Murrell's pass and Murrell's second 40-20 kick of the game establishing the position from which Joel Clinton rumbled over off Ben Fisher's short ball.

The Bulls showed some defiance for the rest of the half, starting with Stuart Reardon's try from Elliot Whitehead's clever offload, and though the Robins stayed in control with Clint Newton's try from Dobson's little pass, Bradford finished strongly, Dave Halley's long pass putting Vinny Finigan in for a third try in two Super League appearances. Shaun Briscoe then had to knock down Menzies' pass as the Bulls threatened again.

Any threat of a fightback, however, was snuffed out by three Rovers tries in the first 15 minutes of the second half, starting with a re-run of the Dobson-Newton combination, the second-rower again coming off his scrum-half's hip at an unstoppable angle. Newton then provided the pass for Fox's second, after Heath L'Estrange left the ball behind, before Scott Wheeldon's break released Briscoe.

Bradford offered some resilience with tries from Craig Kopczak and L'Estrange, before the best of Fox's trio, from 70 metres out.

The looseness of the game was underlined by the way Finigan scored his second, after Michael Platt smuggled the ball back through his legs. Dobson dropped a goal to make sure, followed by a second try for Briscoe.

Rovers will need to be tighter than this if, as seems likely, they get another crack at the play-offs. As for Bradford, they offered the same blend of obvious potential and sheer ineptitude that has made this such a forgettable season. Mick Potter has much to do when he takes over as coach.

Hull Kingston Rovers: Briscoe; Fox, Charnley, Colbon, Latus; Murrell, Dobson; Lovegrove, Fisher, Clinton, Newton, Galea, Watts. Substitutes used: Netherton, Wheeldon, Spaven, Mariano.

Bradford Bulls: Halley; Finigan, Platt, Nero, Reardon; Menzies, Addy; Lynch, L'Estrange, Kopczak, Whitehead, Worrincy, Langley. Substitutes used: Godwin, Olbison, Hall, Crossley.

Referee: T Alibert (France).