Rugby League: Bradford vigorous in victory: Eagles beaten

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles . . . .8

Bradford Northern . . .26

BRADFORD knew just too much last night for a Sheffield side deprived of its most influential figures by considerations of fitness and finance, writes Dave Hadfield.

The first quarter at the Don Valley stadium did nothing to disprove the suspicion that this was a difficult opening match of a difficult season for the Eagles. Bradford showed plenty of the vigour and purpose that made them last season's runners-up.

Tries always looked likely and duly arrived when Neil Summers pursued a Deryck Fox kick even after it appeared to have been scooped dead and when Paul Newlove side-stepped through.

At 12-0 down after Fox's conversions, Sheffield were in danger of losing touch. They bounced back magnificently with runs by Paul Broadbent and Ian Hughes setting up the position from which Paul Carr plunged over. David Mycoe added the conversion and a penalty before Fox added Bradford's third goal.

Sheffield were having to absorb too much pressure and they finally cracked after 64 minutes, Fraisse slipping a pass to the predatory Newlove.

Watson's deceptive strength took him over for a fourth converted try as Bradford resumed full control in the last 10 minutes.

Sheffield Eagles: Hayes; Stott, Price, Hutchinson, Sodje; Mycoe, Sheridan; Broadbent, Jackson, Laughton (Hughes, 72), Hughes (Thompson, 55), Carr (Briggs, 72), Farrell.

Bradford Northern: Simpson; Cordle (Watson, h/t), Fraisse, Newlove, Myers; Summers, Fox; Powell, Hepworth, Bourneville, Dixon (Hamer, 38), Fairbank, Heron.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).