Round-up: Ratchford runs riot with four tries to give struggling Bradford on-field concerns
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Monday 30 July 2012
Bradford's financial problems, pushed to the back of their minds amid some impressive Super League form, seem to have caught up with them on the pitch.
They were thrashed yesterday at Warrington, who ran in six tries in the first half, on their way to a 50-22 win. The undoubted star of the show was Stefan Ratchford, with four tries.
The two Humberside clubs had shaky victories, in astonishingly similar circumstances.
Hull were only two points clear of Salford when Sean Gleeson scored his second try of the game for the City Reds, but they managed to scrape home 34-26 with a late try from Jordan Turner, Jamie Foster kicking the goal.
Likewise Hull KR, who had their lead at Widnes cut to two by Rhys Hanbury's try and goal, only for Louis Sheriff's even later touchdown to clinch a 32-26 win.
The London Broncos, with Tony Rea at the helm, but with the job of looking for a new coach for next season, produced a much improved display in Perpignan.
They led through Tony Clubb's early try, were level at half-time and only had a 19-12 defeat sealed by a Scott Dureau drop-goal.
Wigan, meanwhile, tightened their grip on top spot with a 40-16 victory over an injury-ravaged Castleford. Epalahame Lauaki scored two early tries – his first for the club – and Sam Tomkins finished with 16 points from two tries and four goals.
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