Rugby League: Bulls ahead of the herd
Leeds 16 Bradford 32
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 June 1997
Apart from the inconvenient details that their Super League record 14th consecutive win makes them even more of a certainty for this season's title, this is the match that the game here needed.
More than 19,000 spectators saw a superb match between equals, in which Leeds played a full part; but, as George Orwell observed, some animals are more equal than others.
Leeds had at least their fair share of play in the first half, but trailed at the break because Bradford took their chances.
They did so first after four minutes when Marcus St Hilaire could not hold Steve McNamara's high kick under pressure from Graeme Bradley. When the ball came loose, Bradley was there again to take Paul Anderson's astute pass to go over.
Bradford showed the same predatory instincts midway through the half, when McNamara took an equally good pass from Glen Tomlinson and carried Francis Cummins over the try line with him.
In between those two Bradford tries, both goaled impressively by McNamara, Leeds scored one of their own and could have had two more.
Barrie McDermott was the successful home player, driving over from close range after picking up at dummy half. One clear cut chance was squandered when Cummins snatched his pass to the wide open Paul Sterling. The Bulls also lived dangerously when Andy Hodgson threw a pass to Stuart Bruce behind the try line.
As it was, a conversion and two penalties from Iestyn Harris kept Leeds well in touch. However, they fell further behind seven minutes into the second half when an outstanding move gave the Bulls their third try. McNamara's pass sent Bradley striding away to find Danny Peacock. As Peacock was tackled short of the line he managed to flick up his pass for Sonny Nickle and, with McNamara's kick, Bulls were eight points clear.
That grew to a match-winning margin when Tomlinson's reverse pass sent Nathan Graham through Perry Newton's tackle for another converted try. But Leeds came back in thrilling style, Adrian Morley charging through and hurling a one-handed pass for Gary Mercer to score.
Harris's conversion was cancelled out by McNamara's penalty and another attack saw Hodgson remove all doubt the final outcome.
Leeds: Gibson; Sterling, Cummins, Hassan, St Hilaire; Harris, Sheridan; Masella, Collins, Barrie McDermott, Morley, Farrell, Mercer. Substitutes used: Holroyd, Mithiou, Newton, Hay.
Bradford: Spruce; Hodgson, Bradley, Peacock, Calland; Paul, Tomlinson; Anderson, Lowes, Brian McDermott, Forshaw, Dwyer, McNamara. Substitutes used: Wittenberg, Graham, Reihana, Nickle.
Referee: R Smith (Castleford).
n Tony Smith, Wigan's scrum-half, enhanced his claims for a Great Britain place as he grabbed five tries in Wigan's 58-2 demolition of Sheffield Eagles at Central Park yesterday. Andy Johnson set the ball rolling with two tries inside the first 10 minutes and the Eagles never recovered from that. Smith powered his way over for two touchdowns before the break to give Wigan a commanding half-time lead of 24-2.
Eric Hughes' side, including former Great Britain Academy hooker Ian Talbot on his debut, were able to relax and turn on the style, Smith adding three more tries, Jason Robinson two and Kris Radlinski one.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Gregorz Krychowiak were all linked but Wenger and Gunners fail on deadline day
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans devastated as they become only team in top 5 European leagues not to sign outfield player
David De Gea: Manchester United in bitter war of words with Real Madrid over failed transfer
Tottenham completed transfers: Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier join but time's up for Paulinho and Etienne Capoue
Arsenal completed transfers: Petr Cech in as Wojciech Szczesny, Lukas Podolski and Abou Diaby are shown the door
- 1 Kermit the Frog has a new girlfriend named Denise
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
£17100 - £20900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...
£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...