Rugby League: Bradford battle back to preserve record

Halifax 26 Bradford 30

Bradford preserved their perfect record in Super League, but only after overturning a 20-point deficit with a surge of five tries in 15 minutes deep in the second half.

A Halifax side below full strength had played magnificently to build what appeared to be a match-winning lead, but were powerless when Bradford sprang to life, opening a seven-point gap at the top of the table.

Halifax were the last side to beat the Bulls in the League, at the end of last season. Martin Pearson, was their early instigator, starting the move that saw Craig Dean go over in the second minute and then catching the Bradford defence off guard again for the second try.

Stuart Spruce managed to dislodge the ball from Pearson, but only for Carl Gillespie to follow up and touch down. Pearson, who had landed his first conversion, hit the post with his second to leave Halifax 10 points clear.

Bradford were making damaging mistakes and from one of them, Steve McNamara's knock-on at a tap penalty, Halifax took possession for Asa Amone to power his way over. Then it was Jon Scales who allowed Dean's kick to bounce and was left stranded as it sat up for Gillespie to claim his second.

Halifax, were having to absorb tremendous pressure, finally cracking when Brian McDermott stretched out to score a try which McNamara improved.

It was a brief revival, snuffed out when Amone burst through to touch down, Pearson's kick restoring a 20-points lead for Halifax at half-time.

Poor discipline and the penalties they conceded prevented Bradford from making any headway at the start of the second half. They then got a slice of luck, but there was more than a suspicion of a forward pass when they were adjudged to have scored their second try, Simon Knox going over from James Lowes' ball. Lowes was heavily involved, getting under a kick to win possession and supplying Spruce with the scoring pass. Paul Loughlin, kicking in place of the injured McNamara, landed both conversions to bring Bradford back within eight points of the lead.

Spruce then made it three Bradford tries in six minutes when he backed up Danny Peacock's run to take the ball and race over. The Bulls were on the rampage now and only a wonderful tackle from Mike Umaga denied Mike Forshaw the tying score. It was not long delayed, Scales wrestling his way over in the 70th minute and Loughlin hitting the post to leave the scores level. Three minutes later, Loughlin put Bradford ahead for the first time, Glen Tomlinson's rolling kick to the corner for him to dive on it.

Halifax had a final chance to recapture a match that had been cruelly snatched away, but Freti Cuilugi was stopped inches short.

Halifax: Umaga, Tuilagi, Powell, Bouveng, Amone, Pearson, Dean, Harrison, Chester, Jackson, Gillespie, Highon, Moana. Substitutes used: Marshall, Slicker, Seal, Munro.

Bradford: Spruce, Loughlin, Calland, Peacock, Scales, Bradley, Tomlinson, Wittenberg, Lowes, Anderson, Knox, Forshaw, McNamara. Substitutes used: Graham, McDermott, Reihana, Medley.

Referee: D Campbell (Widnes).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence