Rampant Hull spoil Bradford party

 

Hull spoiled Bradford’s takeover celebrations by putting a big dent in their play-off chances with a resounding 13 try victory.

Omar Khan was introduced to the Odsal crowd before the match, less than 24 hours after he revealed he had been successful in taking over the Bulls, who had been in administration since June, subject to RFL confirmation.

While they hadn’t lost at home in that time, they were certainly brought back down to earth with a bump, as Hull bounced back from a poor display at Widnes a fortnight ago.

Bradford, who had been in the box seat for the final play-off place before kick-off, started the game encouragingly, taking the lead through Jason Crookes down the left hand side.

The big talking point of the first half came shortly after, when Tom Briscoe gathered a loose ball and raced away, only for a valiant effort from Heath L’Estrange to stop a certain try. Ben Jeffries joined the tackle and forced Briscoe in touch, but referee Ben Thaler deemed him to have committed a professional foul, and the half-back was sent to the bin.

Off the resulting penalty, Hull took advantage, as Joe Westerman found space to touch down.

Westerman had a hand in Hull’s second try moments later, offloading late in the tackle to hand Jamie Foster, who scored 24 points on the night, a simple score.

Bradford dug in and managed to steady the ship until the end of Jeffries’ punishment, but it took a last ditch tackle by Shaun Ainscough to deny Ryan McGoldrick an 80 metre interception score, and to add to the Australian’s woe, he was forced off injured.

It didn’t disrupt Hull’s rhythm, and Willie Manu went over for the first of his two tries on 20 minutes to put the visitors 18-6 to the good.

Danny Houghton‘s smart score was soon followed by Manu’s second, and at half time Hull were cruising at 28-6.

Any faint hopes of a Bradford comeback, in their final home game of the season, were put to bed when Aaron Heremaia crossed, and the second half turned in to a procession after that.

Tom Briscoe added a brace, and youngster Ben Crooks got himself on the scoresheet.

Former Bulls forward Andy Lynch, on his first return to Odsal in the colours of Hull, coasted through a gap to grab a try of his own, and Heremaia and Foster added further late tries.

And just as it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse for the home side, on what was meant to be a night of celebration, Briscoe collected a loose ball and raced 50 metres to complete his hat-trick, and with it condemn the Bulls to their record Super League home defeat.

The 70-6 loss leaves Bradford’s play-off hopes in the balance, and Wakefield can leapfrog them in to 8th place with a win over Widnes on Sunday night.

 

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