Rugby League: Newlove sets up waiting game

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The Independent Online
Leeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Bradford Northern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52

BRADFORD NORTHERN completed their league programme as leaders of the First Division after a seemingly inevitable victory over a Leeds side lacking eight first-teamers. There will have been muted celebrations, however, because, excellent as Northern's season has been, it will surely end with them being shunted into second place by Wigan this afternoon.

Even Northern's obdurate coach, Peter Fox, admits to seeing no way in which Oldham can aid them in usurping the champions today. 'Oldham will have spirit and battle, but if they do win, it will be a bloody miracle. They haven't got the motivation except for the pride of beating Wigan.' His side's focus yesterday, therefore, had to be on winning by the 12 clear points that at least assured them of the runners-up spot.

Two tries from Dave Watson would have installed them on their precarious perch, but for a remarkable piece of skill from one of the select band of Leeds first-teamers on show, Graham Holroyd. He created a try for Ian Scott to divide Watson's two with a kick ahead and an impromptu cross. It was a rare moment of relief for Leeds' virtual second-string. In the four minutes before half- time, Neil Summers backed up Jon Hamer for Bradford's third try and Paul Newlove supported David Heron for the first of his hat-trick.

With Kevin Iro and Holroyd off the field as further precautions, Bradford pulled away as Carl Hall pounced on Deryck Fox's angled kick.

Paul Cook produced a reminder of the young talent at Headingley with a dazzling 50- yard try, but Newlove replied by chasing his own kick for his 32nd try of the season.

The last 10 minutes saw Bradford take full advantage with three more tries, all converted by Fox to complete his tally of eight goals.

Gerald Cordle took Newlove's pass for one. Newlove then made it 33 since he joined Bradford last summer when he wrenched his way out of some weak tackling. Even the veteran Neil Holding got in on the act before the end, but Bradford, without the further 100 or so points they need to match Wigan's scoring record, must now sit back and wait for the apparently certain anti-climax this afternoon.

Leeds: Tries Cook, Scott; Goals Holroyd. Bradford: Tries Newlove 3, Watson 2, Cordle, Hall, Holding, Summers; Goals Fox 8.

Leeds: Cook; Fallon, Iro (Hassan, 13), Innes, Scales; Holroyd (Stephens, 40; Holroyd, 59), Donohue; O'Neill, Maskill, Pearson, Scott, Pickles, Vassilakoulos.

Bradford Northern: Watson; Hall (Holding, 57), Shelford, Newlove, Cordle; Summers, Fox; Powell, Clark (Dixon, 76), Hamer (Hall, 79), Dixon (Heron, 57), Fairbank, Heron (Grayshon, 26).

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).

----------------------------------------------------------------- How they stand ----------------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Pts Bradford 30 23 0 7 784 555 46 Warrington 30 23 0 7 628 430 46 Wigan 29 22 0 7 730 397 44 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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