Rea refuses to blame London loss on cash crisis

Bradford Bulls 48 - London Broncos 22
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The Independent Online

London ended an eventful week well beaten by Bradford's most convincing performance of the season so far.

London ended an eventful week well beaten by Bradford's most convincing performance of the season so far.

Having run in their Super League record score last weekend, gone into liquidation in midweek and almost been expelled from the competition on Friday, this defeat hardly counted as a major cataclysm for the Broncos. Their coach, Tony Rea, refused to blame it on the week's drama. "It was a minimal distraction and probably only cost us a day's training,'' he said. "It was just disappointing to come here and not get the job done.''

Bradford were at the forefront of attempts to vote London out of Super League, but there was not the extra sting that might have been expected in the tackling in the early stages.

Both sides scored twice in the first 18 minutes, Bradford from passes by Robbie Paul and the Broncos from two smart pieces of play from Thomas Leuluai. Lesley Vainikolo put Bradford ahead before Solomon Haumono hit back and Luke Dorn scored from Leuluai's kick to give London the lead.

But then Paul's cross-field run allowed Leon Pryce to send Andy Johnson over and Jamie Langley wrestled his way through to put the Bulls ahead.

The best try came when Vainikolo battered his way down the touchline from deep in his own half, Karl Pryce carried the ball on and Paul Deacon backed up to score. The Broncos were pressing as half-time approached, but Karl Pryce, the younger of the brothers, intercepted Mark McClinden's pass to race away to score.

At the start of the second half Tyrone Smith left Leon Pryce standing with a sumptuous sidestep. But Iestyn Harris supplied a neat pass for Brad Meyers to score his first try for Bradford and then a beautiful little move from dummy-half saw Paul go in for the Bulls' seventh try. Deacon's second try went with his six goals before Paul Sykes got one back for the Broncos against his old club. Paul's kick then sat up for Vainikolo's second.

"There were some really positive steps today and pretty much everyone showed up,'' said the Bulls coach, Brian Noble.

* The Rugby League is to look into tightening up its insolvency rules following the decision of Super League clubs to allow the Broncos to continue in the competition despite going into liquidation last week.

Bradford Bulls: L Pryce; Reardon, Johnson, K Pryce, Vainikolo; Harris, Deacon; Vagana, Paul, Fielden, Radford, Peacock, Langley. Substitutes used: Meyers, Pratt, Lynch, Parker.

London Broncos: Luisi; Greenwood, Smith, Sykes, Bradley-Qalilawa; Leuluai, Dorn; Lolohea, Budworth, Trindall, Purdham, Hopkins, Haumono. Substitutes used: Stephenson, Tookey, Armour, McLinden.

Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley).