Henderson at heart of Hull's humiliation

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Henderson, an Australian born in Torquay, was the pivotal figure after Hull's Stephen Kearney was sent off after seven minutes for a high tackle on Stuart Fielden. Lesley Vainikolo scored four tries, but Henderson's two, plus his aggression at dummy-half, put Bradford on their way.

"He's very strong, quick and determined and he has added a lot to our side since he arrived,'' said his coach, Brian Noble.

Henderson is under contract for another two seasons, but could face competition from Great Britain's Terry Newton if Bradford sign him. The Wigan No 9 will be suspended for the first 10 weeks of next season.

On Saturday, Henderson was part of a pack that dominated the Challenge Cup winners. In his last match at Odsal before joining Leeds, the Bradford captain Jamie Peacock was outstanding, while Hull must wonder what they have done to upset Vainikolo.

The Kiwi wing has scored 16 tries in his last five games, 10 in two against Hull. He set up two others as Bradford ran riot. Equally impressive was the way they defended as Hull tried to get some points on the board.

"We spoke about keeping up our standards to the end,'' Noble said. "The way we practised through the week, I knew we were very determined.''

Bradford will take that determination into their final eliminator against St Helens on Friday. The Hull coach John Kear is convinced that they will now go on to win the competition.

Kear criticised the referee Steve Ganson's decision to send off Kearney in the last match of his career. "I feel sorry for the spectators who came expecting a pulsating contest,'' he said.

Bradford: Withers; Pryce, B Harris, Hape, Vainikolo; I Harris, Deacon; Fielden, Henderson, Peacock, Johnson, Myers, Radford. Substitutes used: Paul, Vagana, Langley, Morley.

Hull: Saxton; Blacklock, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor; Faumuina, Horn; Dowes, Swain, Carvell, McMenemy, Kearney, Cooke. Substitutes used: King, Tony, Thackray, Chester.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

l Pat Richards, the wing who will play for Wigan next year, scored one of the great tries as the Wests Tigers beat the North Queensland Cowboys 30-16 in Sydney to win Australia's National Rugby League Premiership yesterday. Richards latched on to a break by his stand-off Benji Marshall to score a length-of-the-field try.