Rugby League: Bulls run riot at injury-hit Leeds

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The Independent Online
RL round-up

Bradford Bulls overwhelmed injury-handicapped Leeds, 56-18, to gain some revenge for a run of five successive defeats at Headingley. The Bulls ran riot in the second half, turning a 22-14 interval lead into a runaway victory against rivals lacking more than half their regular line-up because of injuries.

The Bulls marked their seventh consecutive victory with 10 tries as they continued to impress in Super League, where they could be genuine championship contenders next season. Two former Leeds players, winger Paul Cook and hooker James Lowes, scored the first two Bradford tries as the visitors ran in 16 points without response in the opening 22 minutes, prop Brian McDermott getting the other touchdown.

Just when Leeds seemed powerless to prevent the visitors from scoring at will, they pulled back to 14-16 just before the break. But Bradford ran away with the contest in the second half with six more tries, three of them to skipper and stand-off Robbie Paul.

At Halifax, winger John Bentley scored his 100th try for the Blue Sox as they crushed Paris St-Germain, 56-10, with a six-try second half. The England inter- national earned a standing ovation by bringing up his milestone after 62 minutes and he added a second try 13 minutes later.

John Schuster, on his 100th appearance for the club, goaled the first of eight conversions before Bentley suffered a nightmare in front of his own line, spilling straight into the arms of Eric Vergniol, who needed no second invitation to fly in.

Martin Moana drove in the second Sox try after 21 minutes and four minutes later Welsh second rower Mark Perrett made the break which set up the position for lively hooker Paul Rowley to score near the posts.

The second half was all about how much Halifax could rack up on the scoreboard and Moana kicked it all off after five minutes with a perfect cut inside from a scrum with Paris keeping an eye on the danger man, Bentley.

In the First Division, Salford virtually assured themselves of a place in the Super League with a 46-6 victory at Dewsbury, Peter Edwards and Craig Randall each scoring two tries. They now need just a point to clinch the title from next Sunday's home game against Keighley, who stayed on their heels with a 46-14 win over Wakefield. Elsewhere, Hull won 58-40 at Rochdale and the bottom club, Batley, lost 46-20 at Widnes.

In the Second Division, Swinton stayed in touch with leaders Hull KR by winning 32-12 at Carlisle and there were also wins for Hunslet, Leigh and Bramley.