THIS afternoon the Bradford Bulls took on Yorkshire rivals, Sheffield Eagles at the Beaumont Legal Stadium, suffering a hard-hitting defeat of 52 points to 16.
The opening ten minutes of the game showcased a hotly contested battle between the two sides, exchanging kicks throughout, in search of momentum.
Ryan Millar opened the scoring of the afternoon, as the home side made a break from their half.
Sam Scott scored his first of the afternoon, followed by Wheeldon and Johnson, adding to the Eagles lead, before going back to the dressing rooms for the half time break.
Matthew Fozard scored Sheffield’s first try of the second half, twisting in a two-man tackle, then stretching out to slam the ball down.
The Bulls game was made much more difficult, losing key players such as Oakes to an ankle injury, as well as Magrin being taken off for concussion protocol.
Bradford’s half time team talk evidently gave the visitors an elevation in spirts, immediately replying through James Mendeika.
Mendeika’s efforts went astray, as the centre leapt over his opposing defender, collecting Joe Keyes’ high kick, then slamming down, as the referee pulled play back for an offside.
Matthew Fozard responded to the threat of the Bulls, with a clever step, allowing him to cross the Bradford line. Team mate, James Kelly emulated Fozard’s success, scoring a similar try straight after.
Johnny Campbell arguably performed one of the tackles of the season. Tracking back in defence, the winger forced Garry Lo out into touch, although play was given back to the home side, leading to Trout barging his way under the sticks.
Oscar Thomas inspired a late surge of Bradford tries in the final the minutes of the game, which saw the Bulls cross the line three times in six minutes.
Thomas faked a pass out to the right-hand side, then stepped back into centre field, fooling his opponent.
Johnny Campbell rapidly joined Thomas on the scoresheet, as the winger was on the end of Bradford’s next set of six. Bradford’s play pulled the defenders into centre field, as a perfectly timed pass from James Mendeika enabled Campbell to stroll over the line.
On the seventy-fifth-minute mark, Evan Hodgson joined his team mates on the score sheet for his second of the season, receiving a bullet pass from dummy-half, as the youngster’s momentum took him across the whitewash.
The Eagle’s Sam Scott crossed the line on the final hooter, barging his way over.
BRADFORD BULLS – Thomas, Campbell, Oakes, Mendeika, Ryan, Keyes, Pryce, Kirk, Moore, Magrin, Hodgson, Roche, Sam Hallas.
Interchange – Brooks, Chapelhow, Macani, Davies
GOALS – Keyes (2/3)
TRIES – Thomas (68’), Campbell (70’), Hodgson (75’)
SHEFFIELD EAGLES – Millar, Lo, Yere, Johnson, Blackmore, Brown, Minchella, Wheeldon, Fozard, Mexico, Scott, James, Hope.
Interchanges – Trout, Cox, Burns, Whiteley
GOALS – Brown (6/7)
TRIES – Millar (11’), Scott (13’, 79’), Wheeldon (28’), Johnson (34’), Fozard (45’, 51’), Kelly (60’), Trout (63’), Scott (79’)
|Last 8 Meetings|
|7th May 2017: Sheffield Eagles win 52-16 at The Beaumont Legal Stadium|
|9th April 2017: Bradford Bulls win 48-16 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|2nd October 2016: Bradford Bulls win 27-16 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|18th September 2016: Bradford Bulls win 80-0 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|20th May 2016: Bradford Bulls win 25-14 at Sheffield Hallam Universities Sports Park|
|3rd April 2016: Sheffield Eagles win 46-28 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|9th August 2015: Bradford Bulls win 42-10 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|12th July 2015: Sheffield Eagles win 32-30 at Keepmoat Stadium|