Peacock stops Bradford becoming too bullish

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The Independent Online

Bradford's charge to the top of the Super League table has been heady stuff, culminating in the stunning 48-22 win over previously unbeaten Leeds on Friday night, but the Bulls are not in the chicken-counting game just yet.

Bradford treated a bumper Odsal crowd of 21,784 - the second highest in the eight years of Super League - to a season's-best performance to leapfrog the Rhinos in the table. They are now top with a game in hand, but their leading forward, Jamie Peacock, issued a cautionary note when he warned that the Bulls' form may be too good to last.

"It feels really good to be on top," he said. "We aim to stay in the top two to have the best chance of getting into the Grand Final.

"But there is a long way to go yet, and I am sure we will have a dip in form like we did last year, when we lost a couple of games. It would be too hard to go all the way to the Grand Final playing like this. At some point we are going to have a lull, and it will be how we respond to it that will count."

Bradford's skipper, Robbie Paul, became the second player to register a century of Super League tries when he touched down for the 11th time this season.

But the major honours went to the blockbusting wingmen Tevita Vaikona and Lesley Vainikolo, who caused havoc with their power and strength. Each touched down twice to take their combined tally for the season to 23.

"They are unbelievable," Peacock said. "The amount of work they get through is amazing, and it's all quality.

"When you are tired, there is nothing better than seeing Tevita or Les with the ball in their hands. They are something special."

Leeds, in touch at 6-6 thanks to three penalty goals from skipper Kevin Sinfield, were undone by a three-try burst in 11 minutes just before half-time. They were 38-6 down before centre Chev Walker breached the Bulls' line for the first time on 55 minutes and, although Mark Calderwood and Sinfield added further tries, the Rhinos finished the game a well-beaten side.

"I thought Bradford were outstanding," said Leeds' coach, Daryl Powell. "Mentally we didn't get up. We expected it to happen like it has for the last few weeks, but we've got to be better than that."

Wigan maintained their recent good form to climb to fourth in the table with a 58-12 win over bottom club Halifax, who have now lost their last 10 matches.

Teenager Kevin Brown ran in a second-half hat-trick and skipper Andy Farrell piled up 30 points in his second match back after injury with three tries and nine goals. Jaymes Chapman scored his first try for Halifax, who had forward Paul Davidson twice sent to the sin-bin, and Chris Birchall added another, but they were of little consolation to the outclassed Yorkshiremen.

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