Bradford kicked off – and it wasn't a great start, with Deacons kick sailing out on the full. KR took advantage to start brightly and exert some pressure on the Bradford line, forcing the Bulls todo some serious defending, aided by several iffy decisions by Mr Silverwood it has to be said.
However it was first blood to the Bulls when Andy Lynch crashed over after 9 minutes, taking advantage of a Deacon kick through and the bounce off the posts. Deacon added the 2 to make it 6-0.Rovers hit back after 18 minutes with a fine try in the corner from Jon Steele (who was later stretchered off with a suspected broken leg)but Scott Murrel was unable to add the extras. Honours remained even until Iestyn Harris came up with a good effort, converted by Deacon to make it 12-4.
Rovers were not about to throw the towel in yet though and evergreen Stanley Gene somehow found himself at the line to roll over and score. Murrel on target
this time. KR were looking the better team at this stage and Bradford were looking short of ideas when just before half time Iestyn Harris scored a great try to give the Bulls a major fillip just before the hooter.
Rovers came out like men possessed in the second half and were rewarded with a try from Tangatata-Toa, bursting through some alleged defence from Bradford to score under the posts. With Murrel converting it was 18-16 to the Bulls and, as they say, game on! Unfortunately for KR, this was as good as it got and it was almost one way traffic from here on. Bradford scored with another from Lynch, Deacon having his kicking boots on made it 24-16. Rovers weren't out of it yet, but after Langley scored on 57 minutes and Deacon, once again converted, it did begin to look ominous for KR
And so it proved, with Michael Platt, Ben Harris & debutant local boy Dave Halley all scoring in a 12 minute period, all of which were converted by Deacon.(the latter being a great touchline effort) to make it 48-12 to the Bulls. Deacon wasn't through with the kicking skills though, delivering a 40/20 on 67 minutes and soon after David Solomona went over to score, Deacon coming up with his first miss of the day but the score was still 52-16. Honourable mentions must also go to Matt Cook and Terry Newton. Whilst the latter may be as popular as a fart in a space suit in some quarters, his passing really did make the difference when Bradford were struggling. Cook came up with some good yards and really took it to HKR.
There was some consolation for Rovers fans when Luke Dyer went over 2 minutes before the end, Murrell doing well to add the extras from the touchline.Rovers can take heart from their team performance. Despite the scoreline KR never gave up and this team spirit may be their saving grace. They now face an uphill struggle to get their season back on track after the early season euphoria. A win against Salford next week is a must. As for Bradford, they may well have the 'slowest halves in SL' but they are still joint top and this is with numerous first choice players missing. Hull Awaits