8th March 2018, 15:33
CAPTAIN KIRK'S BULLS KICK OFF RESERVES CAMPAIGN WITH EMPHATIC WIN
Bradford showed the full depth of their squad on Wednesday night as the reserve side started their season with a thumping 70-8 victory over Keighley.
The side contained several of Leigh Beattie’s under 19s players, such as Reiss and Ryan Butterworth as well as the experienced but still youthful players, such as Jamel Goodall and Liam Kirk – playing crucial roles in the resounding victory.
Early pressure led to the Bulls being held up several times on the Cougars try-line but the home side were rewarded for their continuous pressure when Rowan Milnes and Ross Oakes superbly linked to put Josh Rickett into the corner to score his first of three tries.
Bulls weren’t comfortable with just one try though, as they continued to crisply pass the ball and subsequently make Cougars work extremely hard to keep them out.
The build-up play again paid off for Bradford as they went on to score three tries in eight minutes, with Hodgson, Rickett and Reiss Butterworth all comfortably grounding the ball to provide Bulls with the points their commanding performance justified.
Despite conceding a try minutes later, the Bulls extended their lead even more before the break as James Davies scored a spectacular 60m try, racing past six players to score under the sticks and the Bulls headed into the break with a very comfortable lead of 40-4.
Coming out of the half time team talk, Bradford’s relentless control over their opponents continued as they put on thirty more points without reply.
At the restart, Rickett clinched his third try, followed by full back Stephenson, who was outstanding throughout and was in support of Harvey Burnett’s break from the half way line for a superb try.
Winger, Ryan Butterworth closed out the game with a pair of wonderful tries to round off his hat trick. Linking up with his brother, Reiss on his own 10m line, the speedster stepped inside and applied the afterburners to take the Bulls to 70 points before concluding the scoring on the night by neatly finishing in the corner, when under pressure from three Cougar defenders, which rounded off a great night for the club.
With this performance the Bulls showed their strength in depth and will be a handful for many sides in their first season running a reserve side.
Bradford Bulls: Alix Stephenson, Josh Rickett, Ross Oakes, Harvey Burnett, Ryan Butterworth, Rowan Milnes, Cobi Green, Jamel Goodall, Reiss Butterworth, Liam Kirk, Dan King, Evan Hodgson and Jordan Andrade.
Interchanges: Alfie McGreevy, James Davies, Matthew Storton, Vytas Vaznys, Kieron Todd, Lachlan McGill, Oliver Wilson and Max Trueman.
Tries: Rickett (3), Hodgson (2), Reiss Butterworth, Davies, Storton, Ryan Butterworth (3), Stephenson and Rowan Milnes.
Goals: Stephenson (7 out of 11), Milnes (2 out of 2).
Keighley: Josh Smith, Davey Dixon, Aaron Levy, Aidan Scuccy, Jay Panter, Josh Murray, Ethan Egerton-Sharp, Jose Kenga, Luke Walters, Matt Ross, Gavin Reed, Cain Crotty and Bradley Clarkson.
Interchanges: Aaron Nowell, Luke Walters, George Kinnaird, Jak Adams, Tim Stubbs, Luke Samocluk-Barnes, Aaron Harlow-Stephenson and Brandon Robbinson.
Tries: Reed and Scully.
Bulls Man of the Match: Ryan Butterworth.
By Sean Weston.