25th June 2018, 10:10
RHINOS MADE TO WORK HARD FOR VICTORY
As arch-rivals clashed, the Bulls pushed Leeds Rhinos all the way despite falling to a 30-10 defeat yesterday afternoon.
Bradford fired the first warning shot, as the reliable boot of Claire Garner picked out Savannah Andrade in the right corner, who came agonisingly close to opening the scoring.
It would be a former Bull in the form of Lois Forsell who claimed the opening try, as she latched on to her own grubber kick, leaving Courtney Hill to sink an easy conversion for 6-0.
Undeterred, Bradford went back on the attack and levelled when Amy Hardcastle collected Garner’s pass and spotted a gap to power over. Garner added the extras, all square at 6-6.
As the first-half neared its conclusion, Leeds would grab two quick-fire tries as Forsell sent Danielle Anderson free down the centre to score, before Forsell claimed her second with a neat dummy and sprint into the right corner to make it 16-6 at the break.
Leeds struck again seconds after the re-start when Caitlin Beevers showed blistering pace to change direction in the middle of the field and burn around the Bulls defence to slide over out wide.
When Frankie Townend and Manina Spurr found their way over to make it 30-6, Bradford feared another second-half collapse was incoming. This would however not be the case, as the visitors regained their shape to attack a tiring Leeds side.
The Rhinos would hold firm until the closing moments, as Jess Courtman’s lung-bursting run down the left earned Bradford a well-deserved second score of the game to make it 30-10 at full-time.
Head Coach Mark Prescott said: “I was really chuffed with the girls. In the first half, we were great and then in the last 25 minutes.
“It was a much better 80-minute performance than we have been producing over the last couple of weeks.
“Although some of the score lines suggest otherwise, I don’t think we have anything to fear because we have been involved in close games like today.
“If we can cut out some of the errors and make sure we have more of the ball in hand than we’re not far off teams like Leeds.”