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ACADEMY GET OFF TO A WIN
31st January 2013
The Bulls held off a late fight-back to beat Wakefield 26-18 at the Provident stadium to get their Academy campaign off to the perfect start.
The home outfit were able to field first team duo Sam Wood and Curtis Naughton, whilst Luke Gale’s cousin Jordan made his debut in the halves.
The opening stages were pretty scrappy and Ben Shulver’s pass out-wide was smartly intercepted by Kyle Moore, who put the afterburners on to race the length of the pitch for the opening score of the match.
A penalty from the kick-off then gave the Bulls the chance to build on that lead immediately, which they did after some smart work from Naughton put captain Wood in attacking position where he just managed to get the four-pointer before Wakefield defenders pushed him off the pitch.
The Wildcats began to build some pressure but the home defence was holding firm as firstly James Healey was held up over the line and Matt Cook was then forced into touch before he was able to get the ball down
An injury to Naughton brought proceedings to a halt but the Bulls did not let that affect them as Adam Brook ghosted past a couple of tacklers before producing a sublime offload to set up Alex Mellor for the score. Gale then converted which sent the Bulls 14-0 up at the break.
Despite Corbin Kilday being sent to the bin for consistent penalties, the visitors looked to have started the second half the brighter but more heroics from the Bulls defensive line stopped Dan Maskill from scooting his way over.
Shortly after though, Wakefield’s persistent infringement saw hooker Maskill sent to the bin, putting them down to just 11 bodies.
But the Bulls were unable to take advantage, and, when the match was back to 13 v 13, the Wildcats pounced with Brandon Conway first to touchdown a neat grubber kick in goal. Sam Doherty booted the extras.
The home side were quickly back in business minutes later though, as this time they were able to take full advantage on the back of a penalty when Jarrod Ward connected to Wood’s audacious offload. Gale then kicked from the touchline to re-establish their 14 point lead.
However, the game was not won there, as the visitors fought back with back-to-back tries from Shulver and Conway with Doherty converting both, but the Bulls secured the win late on when Wood rounded off a man of the match performance with a second try. Gale goaled to finish the scoring.
The only downside for the Bulls was the injury to Naughton who was taken to hospital with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Bradford Bulls : Curtis Naughton; Kyle Moore, Josh Casey, Sam Wood(c), Jarrod Ward; Jordan Gale, Adam Brook; Connor Nolan, Nathan Conroy, Jordan Hargreaves, Alex Mellor, Josh Halliday, Sam Bates. Subs: Nick Gomersall, Dan Gregory, Brad Adams, Steve Copeland.
Tries: Moore 12, Wood 15, 78, Mellor 33 and Ward 65.
Goals: Naughton 0/2, Gale 3/3.
Wakefield Wildcats: Curtis Macdonald; Brandon Conway, Matt Cook, Tom Rodgers, Sam Doherty; Louis Nicholls, Josh Kitterick; Ben Shulver, Josh Murphy, James Healey, Brad Day, Jack Anderson, Cobin Kilday. Subs: Dan Maskill, Jack Walton, Reece Trout, Will Martin.
Tries: Conway 60, 70 and Shulver 66.
Goals: Doherty 3/3
Referee: M Mannifield