Bradford Bulls v Whitehaven RLFC
Saturday 4th August 2018, 15:00pm
League 1 - Round: 20
Stats over last 7 encounters
Hosting the second of the Ultimate Eight, Bradford steamrolled fourth placed Whitehaven RLFC with a scoreless game, as well as tacking on 46 points of their own to extend the lead at the top of the table.
Before today Whitehaven hadn’t taste defeat since they last went toe-to-toe with the Red Amber and Black men, clinching 7 victories in a row – they were not to be taken lightly.
Beginning the game on the front foot, Bradford applied early pressure to the visitors, resulting in a try from Sam Hallas on the stroke of the sixth minute.
The hooker claimed the first score of the game with a real opportunist try. Using his stumpy, chunky frame, the number nine barged his way over the line from dummy-half after spotting a gap in the Whitehaven shield.
It only took five minutes for hattrick hero, Ethan Ryan to top crop up and add the second score of the game.
Winning a penalty for a high challenge and shifting the ball from the base of the scrum to the left edge, Ryan managed to squeeze his way over the line in the corner.
Bludgeoning the defence, James Green won a penalty for his side, giving Bradford another fresh set of six 10 metres out.
Knocking on the door, on the second play Hallas’ cut out to pass to childhood friend Jordan Lilley, caught the Haven men off-guard and gave room for the half-back to stroll over for his second try in as many weeks.
Defending four sets on their front, the Bulls went on to charge up field and win another penalty for being held in the tackle.
Opting to take the two points and give the side rest bite, Dane Chisholm slotted the ball between the H.
Entering the closing stages of an impressive first half, Bradford struck one final time with Man of the Match, Brandon Pickersgill.
Fast, attractive Rugby League put the ball in Ross Oakes’ hands and within milliseconds the ball was shifted back inside to Pickersgill, who fended off the tackler and broke the plane.
With only two errors in the first half, 24 points and a clean sheet John Kear asked for more of the same during the half-time team talk.
Ethan Ryan came out of the blocks firing. Supporting orchestrator Pickersgill’s line break the winger took the ball from the halfway line and finished a classy move with a swan dive under the sticks.
Anything Pickersgill and Ryan can do, Lilley and Elliot Minchella can do the same.
Bursting through the hooped grey line with a fake pass, Lilley supplied Minchella for his first of two tries, giving room for the second row to stroll over.
The same try recreated three times, back to back to back. Minchella finished off yet another break from Pickersgill after fending off the tackler.
Just before the hooter rang out across Odsal to seal the whitewash victory, Ryan claimed his fifth hattrick of the year.
Beating his opposing number by prodding the ball forward and darting around the winger, Ryan touched down for his 26th try of the League campaign.
Bradford Bulls: Pickersgill, Ryan, Oakes, Egodo, Grant, Lilley, Chisholm, Crossley, Hallas, Green, Garside, Minchella, Wood.
Interchanges: Peltier, Halafihi, Pownall, Kirk.
Goals: Chisholm – 6/8 | Lilley – 1/1
Tries: Hallas (6’), Ryan (11’, 46’. 79’), Lilley (16’), Pickersgill (35’), Minchella (60’, 71’)
Whitehaven RLFC: Burns, Green, Taylor, Mossop, Thompson, Phillips, Howarth, Shackley, Tilley, Forster, Holliday, Nandye, Gillam.
Interchanges: Coward, Eaves, Herve, Thompson.