2nd July 2018, 10:00
BULLS BLITZ BEARS IN SECOND HALF MASTERCLASS
As the sun blazed down on the Butts Park Arena, Bradford broke the whitewash 11 times to claim their tenth consecutive victory and retain the top spot on the Betfred League 1 table yesterday afternoon
Following a difficult opening half, Bradford’s attacking power carried them to victory as the second period saw John Kear’s side tack on eight further tries to showcase their dominance over their opponents.
Coming out of the blocks firing, the Bears put the Bulls to the sword and kicked off proceedings with an early try from Pearce-Paul.
Shifting numbers over to the right edge, the centre was able to make his way inside for the games opening score.
Evidently facing a fired-up Coventry side, John Kear looked to the subs bench to effect play and help establish the lead.
Revolving four players, the severe switch up caught the home side unaware, resulting in Ethan Ryan crossing the line for Bradford’s first points.
Dane Chisholm’s show and go halfway out broke the line, allowing him to dump the ball out wide to the try-scoring sensation for his 20th of the year.
In the battle of the beasts, Bradford began to tame the Bears and posted a further two unanswered tries with George Milton and Elliot Minchella.
On his return to action, Milton helped the side steady the ship and gain the lead after taking the inside pass, stepping the full-back and touching down under the sticks.
Jostling for bragging rights and the top spot in the league’s leading try scorers, Minchella kept the heat on Ryan and the second row took the inside pass from Chisholm to place the ball down next to the sticks.
Going into the half-time team talk after establishing the lead, John Kear gave the side the boost they needed, tallying three early tries in the second half to begin the second half blitz.
On just the third tackle Ross Peltier looked his man head to toe and bumped him off with ease to dove over the line for the first of many second-half points.
Gaining momentum and gaining it fast, former Super League man James Laithwaite helped the Bulls extend the lead after taking the short pass from Joe Keyes and darting to the line.
The Bulls’ attacking prowess stunned the crowd just minutes later after a series of offloads saw Ryan break down the left flank, feeding the ball inside to Minchella for an easy score under the posts
Down but not out, the Bears managed to scrape back a try after a smart inside pass fooled the Bradford line seeing Barratt cross for the home sides’ second.
From here on, Bradford would keep the Bears quiet and run away with the emphatic victory.
With the Bears hurting and throwing the ball around dangerous in an attempt to break a stubborn Bradford line, the Bulls struck once more, this time through Keyes
Pulling out the classic show and go in from of the defensive line, the Ireland International made his way to the in-goal area for four points.
Entering the closing ten minutes, the rampant red amber and black men added four more tries to rub salt into the wounds of the home side.
Starting with Liam Johnson’s emulating Keyes’ line break, the second row darted to the whitewash and gratefully touched down next to the posts.
Playing a crucial role in wearing down a tough Bears side, Sam Hallas was rewarded with a last-minute brace.
Scoring his first by breaking the line and darting to the corner, the hooker soon after posted the game's closing try with an impressive hand-off on the fullback, scurrying to the in-goal area in disbelief.
Before the former Leeds man wrapped up an impressive second half, Minchella touched down for his hattrick, leaving Butts Park Arena with a vital victory in the push for promotion.
Bradford Bulls: Pickersgill, Grant, Gibson, Oakes, Ryan, Keyes, Chisholm, Kirk, Hallas, Bustin, Johnson, Minchella, Wood.
Interchanges: Peltier, Halafihi, Milton, Laithwaite.
Goals: Chisholm – 9/11
Tries: Ryan (16’), Milton (27’), Minchella (32’, 46’, 77’), Peltier (41’), Laithwaite (43’), Keyes (56’), Johnson (71’), Hallas (74’, 78’)
Coventry Bears: Bass, Chapman, Ogden, Pearce Paul, Freeman, Emanuelli, Stead, Vitalini, Williams, Lloyd-Jones, Sherratt, Barratt, Bateman.
Interchanges: Rice-Wilson, Mason, Ryan, Gover.
Goals: Stead – 2/2
Tries: Pearce-Paul (5’), Barratt (51’)