Rochdale Hornets 28-14 Bradford Bulls
Sunday 18th June 2017, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 18
Jovili Taira 2, Lewis Gailbraith, Matty Hadden,
Danny Yates 6,
James Bentley, Ted Chapelhow,
Oscar Thomas 3,
FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR THE SUVA EXPRESS
At a sun drenched Crown Oil Arena, Hornets were eyeing just their second home win of the campaign against a Bradford side that arrived on the back of eight straight defeats.
Alan Kilshaw rang the Hornets changes after last week’s heavy defeat in the South of France but it was the youngsters, Declan Kay and Lewis Hatton who stood out again amongst an impressive Hornets outfit led by Ben Moores.
From the kick off it was nip and tuck for both sides who, taking the conditions into consideration, didn’t opt for anything too exuberant. Both sides played through their sets before Bradford struck. A good build up from Ross Oaks, Oscar Thomas and James Bentley looked to have put the visitors in front but referee Callum Straw, spotted a knock on over the line.
Moments later though, the try was in no doubt with the impressive Jordan Lilley sending Bentley over for the first score of the game. Thomas goaled and he would have the ball on the tee moments later as Ted Chapelhow crashed through the Hornets line and touched down with three men clinging to him.
On his second debut for the club, Ant Walker was putting himself about early doors with crunching hits and powerful carries before being carried off with a hamstring injury midway through the opening half but when it looked like it couldn’t get worse for the hosts, Joe Taira stepped forward to carry the ball with unbelievable ferocity to crash over under the sticks. Yates added the goal to half the deficit.
Both sides struggled to take a stranglehold of the contest but with Bradford’s seventh penalty they elected to go for goal and Oscar Thomas put them eight points in front of Hornets.
Hornets began probing the Bradford line and when Lilley was trapped in goal tempers flared with an all in brawl. The referee opted to give both captains a talking too and Bradford restarted the game with a drop out.
Danny Yates collected the high hanging kick and played it to Joe Taira who hit the flat pass at pace to bust the Bulls line. He stepped the full back and gave a wave to the healthy Bradford crowd before dotting the ball down to the left of the sticks. The turning point.
After the interval it would be all Hornets in the early stages as Danny Yates found Lewis Galbraith with a stunning flat ball to cut through the line and gallop in from 40 metres to touch down on the white wash. Yates nailed the goal to put the home side ahead for the first time. Yates knocked over a further penalty to put stretch Hornets’ lead before a barrage from Bradford saw Hornets defend six consecutive sets on their own line.
Finally digging themselves out of pressure the ball fell to Lewis Foster on the fourth tackle and he looked to have executed the perfect 40/20 but it was a touch too heavy and found its way out on the full but it wasn’t to matter.
Moments later Hornets looked dangerous again. Smart build up play saw Moores hit Lee Mitchell with a flat ball on the Bradford line but it was too hot to handle for the front rower who spewed it forward.
By this point it was all Hornets but it looked as though the game could slip from their grasp at any minute as Danny Yates’ field goal ricocheted wide. From the drop out Hornets found their way up the left channel. Ben Moores executed a perfectly weighted kick into the hands of Matty Hadden who snatched the ball from thin air and slammed it down under the sticks to give Hornets a long awaited home win.
Yates made it six from six with the boot to seal the first league double over Bradford for over 50 years.
Rochdale Hornets: Declan Kay, Jake Eccleston, Jordan Case, Lewis Galbraith, Rob Massam, Lewis Foster, Danny Yates, Ant Walker, Ben Moores ©, Gav Bennion, Jono Smith, Josh Crowley, Lewis Hatton, Joe Taira, Matty Hadden, Lee Mitchell
Bradford Bulls – Oscar Thomas, Johnny Campbell, Ross Oakes, Ed Chamberlain, Omari Caro, Jordan Lilley, Joe Keyes, Liam Kirk, Scott Moore, Ross Peltier, Cameron Smith, James Bentley, Sam Hallas, James Mendika, Brendan Wilkinson, Ted Chapelhow, James Davies
MOM – Joe Taira
Penalty count – 3-12
Attendance – 1,230
Referee – Callum Straw