Whitehaven RLFC v Bradford Bulls
Sunday 17th June 2018, 15:00pm
League 1 - Round: 13
Stats over last 7 encounters
PLAYING WITH PRIDE, PASSION AND IMMENSE EFFORT, THIS AFTERNOON BRADFORD CAME UP AGAINST A DANGEROUS CUMBRIAN OUTFIT IN WHITEHAVEN RLFC – MANAGING TO COME UP WITH A 27-20 VICTORY.
Suffering recent financial difficulties Whitehaven RLFC were a force to be feared and upping the ante with the visiting Bradford Bulls, desperate to fight for every inch and give their all to claim the two points on offer.
Despite the facing the challenge, Bradford Bulls managed to null the heartened efforts of Haven in the heated affair.
Going hammer and tong, Whitehaven clinched the first points of the game and managed to push Bradford back to an 8-0 deficit early on.
On the stroke of the fourth minute, the home side forced an error from the Bulls’ backline after putting a high bomb in the air, drawing the knock on to allow them to scoop up the loose ball and make their way over the whitewash.
Knowing that points were going to be at a premium, the Cumbrians opted to take the two points following a penalty for hands in the ruck just moments later, extending the lead to 8-0.
As Bradford began to gain a grip of the game, they posted their first points through Steve Crossley, as the imposing powerhouse barged his way over the line in a four-man tackle
Making his return to the side last week, Joe Keyes proved his vital worth to the side and did so once more with a man of the match performance.
The Ireland-international made the game his own and gave the Bulls the lead after the 20th minute, faking the pass 30m out, and using his dangerous agility, the half-back made his way to the line for the score.
Prior to the half-time hooter, Kear elected to go for two points following the home side laying on in the tackle. Chisholm gratefully converted.
Coming out of the half-time team talk, Whitehaven were fired up and their efforts were repaid with a try just 30 seconds into the second half.
The wet conditions favoured the home side on this play as the second row, Aiye clinched the ball 20m out, stepped inside to catch Pickersgill on his heels, forcing the fullback to slip, allowing him to stroll in and under the posts to put level the scores.
With the two sides jostling for possession of the ball, fighting against the tough weather conditions as well as one another, Bradford eventually showed their class with a fantastic team try off the back of a Haven error.
Dane Chisholm sent the ball high in the air to the Whitehaven fullback, seeing him fumble and back into the hands of the Aussie playmaker.
Keeping play alive, Chisholm flicked the ball into the hands of Crossley who charged to the unprotected Whitehaven goal line.
After being tackled in a last-ditch effort to stop Bradford crossing for their third try, Keyes scooped up the ball from dummy-half and strolled in for his brace, giving Bradford the lead once more.
Smart game management allowed the Bulls to hold onto the lead, despite Whitehaven coming within one point of the side.
Keyes knocked over a drop-goal to extend the lead by seven before the Cumbrians crashed over for a try in the closing stages to bring the sides within one point of each other.
Putting in a man on the match performance, Vila Halafihi sealed victory for his side after taking the ball from the number nine role and making his way over the line to score on the hooter.
Bradford handed Whitehaven just their third defeat in 17 home games this afternoon, giving them a further two points in the push for promotion.
Bradford Bulls: Pickersgill, Grant, Gibson, Smith, Ryan, Keyes, Chisholm, Kirk, Halafihi, Crossley, Garside, Laithwaite, Minchella.
Interchanges: Peltier, Wood, Hallas, Johnson.
Goals: Chisholm – 4/5 – Keyes - DG
Tries: Crossley (17’), Keyes (21’, 55’), Halafihi (79’)
Whitehaven RLFC: Abram, Green, Mossop, Nandye, Burns, Howarth, Phillips, Shackley, Tilley, Coward, Gillam, Aiye, Foster.
Interchanges: Brown, Cooper, Holliday, Eaves.
Goals: Abram - 13/3
Tries: Burns (4’), Aiye (41’), Eaves (76’)