Bradford Bulls secured consecutive victories and ascended to the third spot in the Betfred Championship standings. They achieved this feat by triumphing 36-8 over Newcastle Thunder at Odsal Stadium yesterday.
Billy Jowitt and David Foggin-Johnston made their return to the matchday squad, replacing James Segeyaro due to injury and Jorge Taufua due to suspension. Eribe Doro marked his debut as he entered the field from the interchange bench.
Entering the match, the Bulls aimed to capitalise on their impressive performance in their previous outing against Batley. Following a strategic initial ten minutes, they seized the lead with a play orchestrated by George Flanagan Snr.
Initiating an attack on the right flank, Joe Arundel exploited a gap in Newcastle’s defensive line, subsequently connecting with Flanagan on the inside. Flanagan, commemorating his fresh one-year contract, executed a remarkable effort from a distance of 40 metres.
The Bulls didn’t take much time to extend their advantage. Collaboration on the left edge between two Cas Bus members proved fruitful. Jordan Lilley’s high kick was skillfully directed backwards by the leaping Kieran Gill, directly into the path of Tom Holmes, who dove over the try line.
Newcastle managed to narrow the point deficit shortly thereafter when Robert Tuliatu evaded a tackle and stretched across the line to score.
However, the Bulls added to their tally before the halftime break. Lee Gaskell skillfully guided Arundel through an opening, allowing him to cross the line without any opposition.
At the commencement of the second half, Bradford surged forward and secured their fourth try in impressive fashion. Keven Appo embarked on a forceful run before delivering an excellent offload to the supporting Jordan Lilley, who managed to score.
Newcastle retaliated with a try from Alex Clegg, but that marked the extent of the visitors’ success. The Bulls exerted pressure on the Thunder’s defensive line, resulting in a well-executed Lilley grubber kick that enabled Gill to secure his 20th try of the season.
The concluding sequence showcased Flanagan Snr’s trademark style. With just two minutes remaining, he cleverly faked a movement before burrowing his way over the try line, securing his second try of the match and the sixth for Bradford during the afternoon.