Monday 1st April 2013, 15:00
Super League - Round: 10
Salford Red Devils
John Bateman, Jarrod Sammut 2, Adrian Purtell, Brett Kearney, Jamie Langley,
Lee Gaskell, Jack Murphy, Chris Nero, Andrew Dixon,
Jamie Foster 4, Jarrod Sammut 2,
Marc Sneyd 4,
Attendance: 7,503 Official: T Roby Venue: Provident Stadium, Odsal
Full Time Report
Two tries from Jarrod Sammut helped the Bulls edge past Salford at the Provident Stadium.
The Bulls standoff was in inspired form once again for Francis Cummins men, as they took three points out of four from the gruelling Easter period.
Both teams came into this game after close contests in their previous Easter fixture, with the Bulls dramatically drawing to the Rhinos and Salford secured a shock 21-20 win over high-flying Huddersfield.
Having two games in such a short space of time meant that Cummins shook up his team selection. Adam O’Brien was named as a substitute in place of Matt Diskin, and James Donaldson replaced Chev Walker, whilst Nick Scruton and Tom Olbison moved to the bench, with Jamie Langley and John Bateman starting.
The home side looked to have taken an early lead. Sammut’s offload put Keith Lulia through a gap, but the former Newcastle Knight fumbled with the line at his mercy.
Sammut’s creative spark was not to be held out for long, though, as this time the standoff’s stab through was pounced on by Bateman for the opening score. Jamie Foster converted to put the Bulls six up and firmly on top.
But, out of nothing, the Reds suddenly found themselves back on level terms.
Theo Fages’ 40-20 attempt was just kept in play by Kearney, but at a cost, as the Bulls fullback lost his footing and Lee Gaskell took full advantage, racing in at the corner, with Sneyd converting from the touchline.
But an inspired piece of play got the Bulls back to where they belonged. Lulia made up for earlier error, combining beautifully with three quarter partner Foster, who in turn then found Sammut back on the inside for his eighth try of the campaign. Foster once again converting, putting them 12-6 to the good.
The game looked to have then levelled out, as Salford’s smart kicking game was holding the Bulls back.
However, an inspired break from Elliot Kear stemmed the Bulls next try, as the visitors never recovered, and, after three sets on their line, their defence wilted as Kearney found Adrian Purtell in for his second four-pointer in consecutive games. Foster once again improving, and, moments later, things got even better.
Coming up against his former club for the first time, Adam Sidlow burst through the middle and charged at the corner before finding Kearney in support who just managed to get the ball down for his 10th of the season. Foster kicked the goal to put the Bulls in a commanding 24-6 lead at the break.
The home side did not seem to come out of the sheds for the opening 10 minutes and Salford took full advantage, with Fages, Liam Foran and Marc Sneyd combining to play in Jack Murphy out-wide after three consecutive sets on their line. Sneyd booted over the extras again and Foster was then taken off injured.
Things then going from bad to worse, as they were unable to penetrate Salford’s half and Gareth Owen was on hand to play former Bull Chris Nero in from close range.
However, the tide looked to have been halted when Danny Addy’s ball back on the inside to Langley, who showed brute strength to get the ball down.
Sammut tagged on the extras but a moment of magic from Fages suddenly saw that moment reignited, as the halfback broke and played Andrew Dixon in through the middle, giving Sneyd the easy conversion to bring it back to a six point ball game.
Both sides were then edgy in the final quarter, as the Bulls failed to penetrate the Reds line and the visitors looked dangerous on the break.
And, after two previous failed attempts to run it from the penalty, Sammut opted to go for the two after a high shot and he dully slotted the goal home from 40 out.
Despite the visitors best efforts, the Bulls then put the game to bed when an outstanding offload from Langley saw Sammut over to cap off his fine individual performance and the win.
Bradford Bulls: Kearney; Kear, Purtell, Lulia, Foster; Addy, Sammut; Langley, L’Estrange, Manuokafoa, Bateman, Whitehead, Donaldson. Subs: Scruton, Olbison, O’Brien, Sidlow.
Salford City Reds: Sneyd; Murphy, Okanga-Ajwang, Gaskell, Broughton; Fages, Foran; Darrell Griffin, Godwin, Neal, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild. Subs: Jewitt, Walne, Owen, Nero