Peacock's dazzling display eclipses inept Broncos

London 12 Bradford 54
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The Independent Online

Jamie Peacock led the way with two tries as Bradford thrashed London for the second time in quick succession, after the Broncos had squandered a bright start and with it the chance to move into fifth place in the Super League.

Peacock, surely a candidate for "man of steel" as the dominant player of the season, eclipsed an opening phase from London upon whose promise they should have built.

"He was outstanding. He's been producing that kind of form all year,'' said the League leaders' coach, Brian Noble, who was also hopeful that an injury to Stuart Fielden's knee will not prove serious.

London were unrecognisable in the first half-hour from the side that let in 60 points the last time Bradford came to Griffin Park a month ago. If they had started looking for the miracle pass any earlier, this would have been a rare case of a side playing catch-up football before the game began. As it was, they were a mixture of the brilliant and the downright inept.

Their try was a case in point. Russell Bawden made the break but unaccountably failed to pass to Dennis Moran in support. Steele Retchless spared his blushes by selling a huge dummy for a try with which to celebrate his record-equalling 171st appearance for the club.

The Bulls equalised when Karl Pratt put Peacock through the first of his gaps, but the Broncos had gilt-edged chances spoilt by Moran's ill-advised kick and Rob Purdham's forward pass to Bill Peden. They were bound to be punished for such profligacy and were when Pratt sent Peacock through again and when a bout of old-fashioned dribbling ended with Lee Radford scoring Bradford's third converted try.

The punishment continued after the break with Mike Forshaw getting a late pass away to help create Shontayne Hape's try and James Lowes going over for a simple score from dummy half.

Lowes supplied the pass to Rob Parker for an equally straightforward effort as what remained of London's early promise evaporated.

After Peden had another effort ruled out when Purdham was again guilty of a forward pass, Radford's pass set up Tevita Vaikona for Bradford's seventh try, with Phil Deacon's seventh goal giving him 1,000 points in domestic rugby. The 24-year-old, who started his career with Oldham before moving to the Odsal Stadium five years ago, drew level with last season's tally of 336 points by notching nine goals in the match.

Vaikona's second soon followed, with Joe Vagana adding to London's misery. When it was far too late, Andrew King got one that did count for the Broncos, but their coach, Tony Rea, still called it "a really poor performance".

London: Sykes; King, Martin, Roy, Caine; Purdham, Moran; Stephenson, Budworth, Bawden, Toshack, Retchless, Dymock. Substitutes used: Peden, Trindall, McConnell, Hamilton.

Bradford: Reardon; Vaikona, Naylor, Gilmour, Hape; Pratt, Deacon; Vagana, Lowes, Anderson, Gartner, Peacock, Forshaw. Substitutes used: Langley, Radford, Parker, Fielden.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).

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