Playing under the blistering heat of the Lancashire sun, Bradford controlled the play of the entire first half, and looked to be the dominating force.
James Bentley scored the first of six tries in the sunny Spotland Stadium, as the second row crossed the line for his twelfth try of the season.
Bentley was originally denied by the referee, although moments later the 19-year-old crossed the line once more, giving the referee no excuse not to award the try.
Bradford’s impressive efforts in both defence and attack earnt them back to back sets in front of the Rochdale line, until they finally took advantage on the stroke of the twelfth minute.
The Bulls broke from a scrum 30m off the Hornet’s goal line, as Jordan Lilley led the charge, stepped inside to fool the defence and catch them on their heels. The half back found space down the centre of the field, feeding the supporting James Bentley to cross the line.
Shortly after Ted Chapelhow opened his Bradford scoring account, taking possession of the ball 10m off Rochdale’s line. Somehow, the Viking’s dual registration forward found himself in distance of the line to stumble over and add onto the scoreboard, despite having four Hornets on his back.
The heat of the afternoon and constant stoppages from Rochdale injuries began to play a factor, as the Bulls rampant beginning to the game began to gradually dwindle.
Rochdale strongman Jovilisi Taira made his first mark on the game, barging his way over the Bradford in-goal area. Refusing to settle and be held up, the forward fought his way to slam the ball down, despite being in a two-man tackle.
Oscar Thomas looked to regain control of play, as the full back knocked through a penalty kick, after Cameron Smith’s resilient efforts enabled Thomas to continue his impressive kicking completion rate.
The Bulls confidence was dealt a severe dent, as a weak try was conceded. Taira struck once more breaking through the Bradford defensive line after a goal line drop out, to touch down under the sticks.
Rochdale resumed the second half as the team in control, taking the lead early on and holding Bradford to a scoreless second half.
Rochdale’s swift play of the ball across the Bradford line created a gap, allowing a perfectly timed bullet pass into the chest of Galbraith to break through, taking the ball into his chest from a perfectly timed run.
Two penalty kicks from Yates and a chip and chase try from Hatton in the dying embers of the game sealed Bradford’s fate. Zero points must wait one more week.
BRADFORD BULLS: Thomas, Campbell, Oakes, Chamberlain, Caro, Lilley, Keyes, Kirk, Moore, Peltier, C. Smith, Bentley, Hallas
Interchanges: Mendeika, Wilkinson, Chapelhow, Davies
GOALS: Thomas (3)
TRIES: Bentley (15’), Chapelhow (18’)
ROCHDALE HORNETS: Kay, Eccleston, Case, Galbraith, Massam, Foster, Yates, Walker, Moores, Bennion, Crowley, Middlehurst.
Interchanges: Hatton, Taira, Hadden, Mitchell
GOALS: Yates (5)
TRIES: Taira (22’, 38’), Galbraith (49’), Hatton (75’)