Rugby League: Myers' comfortable return: Bradford remain perfect

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Bradford Northern. . .48

Widnes. . . . . . . . .4

DAVID MYERS punished his home town club's frailties with a hat-trick of tries as Bradford Northern remained unbeaten on top of the First Division table.

Myers has spent two episodes of his chequered career with Widnes, but he rarely enjoyed the freedom in their colours that he discovered playing against their sadly depleted current line-up yesterday.

Myers scored first when he arrived in support of Paul Newlove in the 28th minute. His second was the result of Deryck Fox's pass flat- footing the remnants of the Widnes defence and his third was the product of one of Neil Summers' many telling breaks.

Summers, thriving on the scandalous amount of leeway he was allowed in midfield, scored two tries as well as creating two in an outstanding personal display. Carl Hall also claimed two, with Fox crossing and David Watson's livewire performance almost inevitably bringing him a try.

Paul Dixon's penetrative running from second row was almost the equal of Summers' at stand-off, but this was a match in which it was relatively easy for Bradford players to shine and during which it was not even necessary for Northern to perform consistently well as a team.

It was indicative of how little they were extended that they achieved their resounding win with a minimal contribution from their usual match-winner, Newlove, who was taken off as a precaution early in the second half.

Widnes were reduced to a disorganised rabble despite taking an early lead through Adrian Hadley after a comedy of errors in Bradford's defence. Sporadic flashes of good play from Bradford were enough to completely demoralise them before half-time, however.

Under the coaching of Tony Myler, Widnes are trying to play as he did - instinctively and off the cuff. Unfortunately, this does not play to the remaining strengths and catered even less for their weaknesses. This thrashing is unlikely to be the last of what threatens to be a long winter.

Bradford Northern: Watson; Hall, Fraisse, Newlove (Donohue, 48), Myers; Summers, Fox; Powell, Hepworth, Hamer, Dixon, Bourneville, Medley (Heron, 46).

Widnes: Spruce (Ireland, 71); Green, Hammond, Wright, Hadley; Ruane, Tyrer (Thorniley, 57); Ireland (Makin, h/t), McCurrie, Hansen, Collier, Myler, P Hulme.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).

Rugby league results, page 31