McNamara charges his Bulls

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The Independent Online

The Bradford coach, Steve McNamara, admitted his team need more of a cutting edge after they slipped to a narrow defeat at Salford on Friday night. The engage Super League champions were beaten 17-16 at The Willows despite leading twice in the game.

The Bulls applied plenty of late pressure but could not force themselves over the line, and Paul Deacon was off-target with a drop-goal attempt that would have snatched a draw.

McNamara said: "We competed really well but let ourselves down in certain areas. Our last plays were poor and we let them off the hook. We conceded two tries when we had a man in the sin-bin and we didn't have much luck.

"There were a couple of contentious decisions, but we weren't clinical enough and the end to our sets was poor. But Salford are a very hard-working side and it's never easy these days winning at The Willows."

Two tries from Junior Langi put Salford ahead after Karl Pryce had crossed early for the Bulls, but the visitors responded through Ben Harris and Brett Ferres. It took a fine try from Luke Robinson, coupled with Stephen Myler's conversion, to put the Reds back ahead, and they needed to hold strong late on.

Their coach, Karl Harrison, was pleased his side, now fifth, had finally secured an overdue win against one of their play-off rivals, but it did come at a cost. Andrew Dunneman, whose drop goal on the stroke of half-time ultimately proved the difference, suffered a suspected broken bone in his foot, and Simon Finnigan could also be out with medial ligament damage.

Harrison said: "Our aim for some time has been to beat one of the big teams at home, but we made it hard for ourselves. We were pretty solid, though, and took our chances when they were needed. Bradford could have pinched it late on but it was a real gutsy performance, and our defence managed to pull Paul Deacon and Ben Harris back over the line. Junior Langi has been playing well and has to maintain that form. Andy Coley was immense and the crowd were fantastic."

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