Monday 9th April 2012, 15:00
Super League - Round: 11
Ben Jeffries, Michael Platt 2, Craig Kopczak, Adrian Purtell, Manase Manuokafoa, Keith Lulia,
Jarrod Sammut 5,
Attendance: 5,687 Official: P Bentham Venue: Stobart Stadium Halton
Full Time Report
Cash-strapped Bradford Bulls put their off-field problems to one side as they recorded their second win of the Easter period with victory over Widnes Vikings at the Stobart Stadium.
The Bulls followed up their 12-4 Good Friday derby defeat of Leeds Rhinos at Odsal with another impressive display, despite the club's financial crisis.
Centre Michael Platt grabbed two tries for the Bulls, while Adrian Purtell, Ben Jeffries, Manase Manuokafoa, Keith Lulia and Craig Kopczak also crossed in a convincing win for Mick Potter's side.
It was a disappointing display from the hosts, who showed glimpses in Thursday's defeat at Warrington Wolves that they could cause sides problems but they just had a Rhys Hanbury try to show for their efforts today.
Widnes gave a debut to 18-year-old full back Jack Owens while club captain Jon Clarke returned after injury at hooker and prop Ben Davies started on the substitutes bench in place of Alex Gerrard.
Cameron Phelps was the latest addition to the club's mounting injury problems after he picked up a leg problem against Warrington.
Bradford lost Karl Pryce and Phil Joseph during the win over Leeds to add to their growing injury problems, which sees 12 first-team squad members sidelined, but did welcome back Kopczak on the bench after missing the previous five games with a broken finger.
A healthy holiday crowd at the Stobart Stadium was helped by Widnes owner Steve O'Connor donating 600 tickets for the travelling Bulls fans to which the proceeds went directly to the Yorkshire side. O'Connor had also made a £10,000 donation to the fighting fund at Odsal.
And the travelling Bulls supporters certainly showed they appreciated the gesture with the chanting of O'Connor's name throughout the game.
The Bulls were fastest out of the blocks and raced into a 12-0 lead after just nine minutes thanks to two early tries.
The visitors opened the scoring after just five minutes with a spectacular 70-metre try as Platt broke from deep inside his own half and Elliott Whitehead continued the move before Jeffries took the final pass to race clear and Jarrod Sammut added the conversion.
Widnes were struggling to cope with Bradford's early salvo and the visitors increased their lead four minutes later when a crisp handling move across the line ended with Purtell sending Platt crashing over in the corner.
Sammut was again on target with a superb touchline conversion.
Bradford continued to dominate proceedings with winger Shaun Ainscough twice going close after dangerous kicks by Jeffries.
Widnes had struggled to get any significant field position in the opening half-hour, but on a rare venture deep inside Bradford territory finally came up with their first points of the game.
It was substitute Scott Moore whose excellent ball out of the tackle allowed scrum-half Hanbury to race to the corner and just evade the challenge of Ainscough to score.
But two minutes before half-time Bradford extended their lead when Tom Olbison was stopped just short of the line before a quick play the ball had the Widnes defence on the back foot and Heath L'Estrange sent Kopczak over under the posts.
Sammut maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot with his third conversion to give the Bulls an 18-4 half-time advantage.
Bradford took a stranglehold on proceedings with two tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half as Platt claimed his second and Purtell also touched down to increase the advantage to 26-4. Sammut missed his first goal attempts of the afternoon.
Bradford completed a convincing win when Manuokafoa carried three men over the line with him to touch down and Lulia completed the rout with a try three minutes from time.