Iro's century revives Leeds

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Leeds 50

Bradford Northern 30

A hat-trick of tries from Kevin Iro, taking him past the century in Britain, ensured that Leeds, runners-up in Cup and League, remain alive in the Premiership play-offs, writes Dave Hadfield.

Leeds, tormented by Henry Paul at Wembley last Saturday, fell victim to the skills of his brother, Robbie, for the opening try, a cultured reverse pass sending Paul Newlove striding away.

Within the first 13 minutes, Bradford were two tries to the good, Neil Summers taking a quick pass from Deryck Fox.

Leeds began to edge their way into the game with Graham Holroyd's penalty, before a lucky bounce off Roger Simpson allowed Craig Innes to release James Lowes for their first try.

They were still lethargic in defence, however, as Simpson sent in Roy Powell and Fox restored the 12 point gap, soon extended to 14, with a penalty.

Iro, who knocked on repeatedly in the opening stages, made amends spectacularly, taking a pass from Innes to go on a 45 yard rampage for a converted try.

Immediately before half-time, Garry Schofield drew in the Bradford defence to put Iro in.

Three minutes after the break, Leeds were level, deft handling by Alan Tait and Lowes paving the way for Schofield.

Just as quickly, they went ahead for the first time, Esene Faimalo's try aided by a bizarre incident in which the referee, Stuart Cummins, flattened Paul.

Northern's reply was again courtesy of a lucky bounce, Gary Christie's kick coming back into his arms for the try.

But then Iro's third, another long-range effort, gave Leeds a decisive lead. Jim Fallon's 85-yard interception and further tries from Gary Mercer and Holroyd, who finished with seven goals, made sure of a semi-final place, despite a late Bradford consolation from Carl Hall.

Leeds: Tait; Fallon, Iro, Innes, Cummins; Schofield, Holyroyd; Howard (Howard, 57), Lowes (Mann, 67), Faimalo (Howard, 77), Mann (Vassilakopoulos, 62), Eyres, Mercer.

Bradford Northern: Paul; Simpson, Hall (Bourneville, 46), Newlove, Christie; Summers, Fox; Powell, Clark, Hamer (Fairbank, 76), Medley, Fairbank (Hall, 70), McDermott (Clegg, 46).

Referee: S Cummings (Widnes).