A fiery attacking display, combined with an impressive defensive performance saw the Bulls defeat Oldham RLFC for the second time this season, by 20 points to 16.
The Bulls suffered severe set-backs in the pack following their explosive opening quarter, which saw the tries dry up and Bradford battle with their backs against the wall.
Toovey’s side showed unbelievable grit and resilience to grind their way to the final minute and leave Bower Fold as victors.
From the first whistle Bradford were the dominant side, defending high up the field and keeping Oldham within their own half as well as forcing their way to the Roughyeds goal line on numerous occasions.
On the stroke of the seventh minute, Josh Rickett scored his first professional try for the club, as Bradford’s fast play of the ball from right to left finally saw Joe Keyes float a perfectly weighted pass over the Oldham winger, allowing Rickett to walk over the line.
Bradford maintained high pressure on the Roughyeds, as the two sides exchanged kicks for the next seven minutes, controlled by Aston and Keyes, tiring the home side out with their kick and chases.
Finally, Aston caught Oldham unaware and nailed a 40/20 to put the home side on the back foot.
Bradford smelled blood as they were lingering across the opposition goal line until finally punching their way over through Scott Moore, barging his way over the line from dummy half.
As Bradford looked to maintain their impressive start to the game, just four minutes later they chalked on four more points through James Bentley.
Joe Keyes orchestrated the Bradford attack once more, as the half back punted a high bomb across the field and caused major problems for Scott Naylor’s side.
The spiral kick was taken down by Vila Halafihi on the final tackle, who managed to flick the ball back inside to Bentley and step his way inside to touchdown for his fifteenth try of the year.
Bradford’s attacking performance was captured following Oldham’s kick off from Bentley’s try, as Sam Hallas used his brute strength to break the line and flick the ball on to Bentley, who made his way to the half way line and supplied Cory Aston to take it to the house.
Shortly after, Bradford began to face numerous set-backs as Ross Peltier was taken off the field and didn’t return, as well as Mikolaj Oledzki not taking to the field after the first half, until the 72nd minute.
Oldham took immediate advantage of Peltier’s departure, as a sly offload in the face of Bradford’s defensive line created a gap for Jack Spencer to dive through and score.
As the side came out for the second half, Geoff Toovey was forced to reshuffle his pack as Mikolaj Oledzki sat on the bench resting a tweak.
Even though Bradford were held to a scoreless second half, the Bulls showcased an outstanding defensive effort as Colton Roche and Damian Sironen shared roles across the forwards.
Despite the Bulls best efforts to keep the Roughyeds out, Oldham’s next two tries came after back to back sets in front of the Bradford line.
For the final twenty minutes of the afternoon, Bradford were starved of the ball and spent little time in the Oldham half. Although their determination and proud defending saw the Bulls return to Odsal with the two points.
BRADFORD BULLS: Smith, Rickett, Halafihi, Mendeika, Macani, Keyes, Aston, Kirk, Moore, Roche, Bentley, Smith, Sironen.
Interchanges: Oledzki, Peltier, Hallas, Wilkinson.
GOALS: Smith (1), Aston (1)
TRIES: Rickett (7’), Moore (14’), Bentley (18’), Aston (20’)
OLDHAM RLFC: Hooley, Clay, Morris, Pearce-Paul, Neild, Grimshaw, Hewitt, Burke, Hughes, Davies, Wood, Adamson, Spencer.
Interchanges: Wilkinson, Adebiyi, Ward, Gee.
GOALS: Hooley (1)
TRIES: Spencer (23’), Grimshaw (44’), Ward (47’)
|Last 7 Meetings|
|13th August 2017: Bradford Bulls win 20-16 at Bower Fold, Stalybridge|
|25th June 2017: Bradford Bulls win 47-12 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|2nd April 2017: Oldham RLFC win 26-22 at Bower Fold, Stalybridge|
|21st August 2016: Bradford Bulls win 82-0 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|17th July 2016: Bradford Bulls win 44-12 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|
|15th June 2016: Bradford Bulls win 48-4 at Bower Fold, Stalybridge|
|6th April 2014: Bradford Bulls win 60-6 at Provident Stadium, Odsal|