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There was plenty of history between the two sides meeting at Odsal Stadium in Bradford and the Bulls and the Rhinos redrew the battle lines in a Challenge Cup which has seen many encounters over the last couple of decades.

The Rhinos faced their first outing  under the custodianship of Richard Agar after partig company with Dave Furner during the week while the home side will have been well-drilled by Cup shock supremo John Kear.

The last time that these two sides met in the Challenge Cup was the Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2003 where the Bulls ran out as 24-22 victors. But in 2019 it was Leeds who were massive favourites for the win and progress into the quarter finals.

Three minutes in and the Rhinos took the lead after a Brad Dwyer line break saw him bust doen the middle before passing inside to Tui Lolohea to canter the remaining twenty and score under the sticks. Liam Sutcliffe added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Two minutes later and Bradford got their first try after a terrible Rhinos attempt to deal with the kick-off. On the overlap Dalton Grant took a Jordan Lilley floated pass to go over in the corner. Elliott Minchella was unable to convert from wide but the Bulls were showing that they wouldn’t be a pushover.

Trent Merrin was held up over the line on ten and the Bulls did well to keep the Rhinos out. On thirteen a determined effort from Leeds youngster Callum McLelland saw him stretch out over his head to ground on the line. The decision was referred to the video referee who agreed with the on-field official and the try was given. Sutcliffe was again accurate withe the boot for an eight point lead.

Jake Webster got Bradford’s second on twenty three when he leapt to take a Rowan Milnes high kick and walk through a fractured Leeds defence to dive and slide over the line. Minchella pulled his kick right of the uprights, the Bulls still 8-12 behind.

On twenty-six the Bulls were level when Milnes offloaded to Sam Hallas to burrow under the Leeds defence to score. Milnes took over the kicking duties and added the two points to give the Bulls a 14-12 lead.

On thirty-three it got even better for the Bulls as Mikey Wood crashed the Leeds line and took two tacklers with him to score. Milnes was again accurate with the boot, the Bulls 20-12 ahead, and after Leeds were penalised for a dangerous lift, Milnes kicked the penalty goal for a ten point lead.

When Leeds were awarded a penalty thirty from the Bulls sticks, Sutcliffe kicked the penalty goal as the hooter sounded for a 22-14 half time scoreline.

The Rhinos started the second half camped on the Bulls line and on forty-seven Harry Newman showed determination to find a space to plonk the ball down after going over on his back. Again the video referee was consulted and again he agreed with the on field decision. Sutcliffe was unable to add the extras, Leeds still trailing by four.

As the half wore on and the Rhinos frustrations increased, the indiscipline that has dogged them all season, resurfaced. A high tackle on Lilley on sixty-two gave Milnes a fourth goal of the afternoon to again put the Bulls six points clear.

Leeds got within two on seventy-three as panic football allowed Tom Briscoe to catch a kick to the corner on the last and with the assistance of the Bulls defence he dropped over the line. Sutcliffe hit the far upright with the kick, the ball dropping back into the field of play. Leeds still two behind with five left.

It was a scramble in the last five but the Bulls took the game to Leeds rather than defending their own line to secure a tremendous 24-22 win and cause one of the biggest upsets in the famous old competition for many years.

The Bulls were good value for their win against a woeful and indisciplined Leeds Rhinos side. They had a typical John Kear game plan and they stuck to it, Jordan Lilley was named man of the  match, and deservedly so, in response to his release by the Leeds Rhinos earlier in the week. Leeds season is now in the dustbin, out of the cup and with almost no chance of making the play offs.

But today is all about Bradford Bulls and their fantastic win to progress into the cup quarter finals. The Bulls are back.

Bulls: Ryan. Grant (T), Webster (T), Oakes, Foggin-Johnston, Lilley, Milnes (4G), Kirk, Hallas (T), Crossley, Minchella, Farrell, Wood (T). Subs: Wildie, Green, Peltier, Storton.

Rhinos: Lolohea (T), Briscoe (T), Newman (T), Hurrell, Handley, Sutcliffe (3G), McLelland (T), Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Peteru, Smith, Watkins, Merrin. Subs: Albert, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Oledzki.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Half-Time: 22-14.

Full-Time: 24-22.

Attendance: .

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th May 2019 4:33 PM | Views : 2471 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES


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