Provident supports the Bradford Bulls

 

Bradford Bulls have been involved in some very entertaining rugby in the early throws of the new season and remain unbeaten in their quest to return back to Super League.

In our first instalment of our early season action, we look at the first of three games. Let’s begin with the action on the pitch…..

Pre-Season Friendlies Give High Hopes

The Bulls’ pre-season preparations culminated in two friendly games against Super League opposition and the indicators from these match-ups were very encouraging.

First a trip to last season’s treble winners, Leeds Rhinos. One of, if not the biggest derby game in the sport in years gone by.

Head Coach James Lowes picked four debutants in his starting line-up, Oscar Thomas, Kris Welham, Ben Kavanagh and Kurt Haggerty, with another two new recruits on the bench in Johnny Walker and trialist Rhys Jacks who joined a month earlier.

The Bulls got off to a fantastic start and went into the break with a two-point advantage. But the Champions hit back in the second half, as they ran in four unanswered tries against a strong Bradford defence. Final score 26-12 to the Headingley men.

Castleford Tigers visited for the first game at the Provident Stadium in 2016.

Both squads were under full strength, Bulls fielding a number of Academy players against a youthful ‘Cas’ side.

The Bulls never looked back after taking an early lead with a try each for first team wingers Omari Caro and James Clare. Youngsters Luke Hooley and Liam Kirk ensured the win with the result 26-8 in Bulls’ favour.

A Winning Start

Last season Featherstone Rovers ended Bulls’ 17 game winning streak with a comfortable 37-18 upset at the Provident Stadium. As with many teams in this season’s Championship they’re not to be taken lightly.

Rovers were the visitors to open the new campaign and again proved to be tough proposition with several dual-registered Rhinos players. They held the home side to just a four point lead at the break, Omari Caro touching down twice for Bulls, Lee Gaskell once.

Caro finished off his hat-trick in the 54th minute and the Bulls’ defence kept ‘Fev’ out to seal the two points with a 22-12 result.

Two Saturday evening kick-offs away to teams who I don’t think will challenge in the top half of the table.

First they came away from a trip to Cumbria with a 46-10 scoreline over Whitehaven, bettering last season’s differential by 20 points.

Until they get a new stadium newly promoted Swinton are having to play games away from their Sedgley Park home due to it not meeting RFL minimum requirements for grounds in the Championship.

So they hosted the Bulls at Super League’s Widnes Vikings’ Select Security Stadium in an error strewn game for both teams.

Former Super League centre Kris Welham’s hat-trick helped the Bulls to eventually run out comfortable 48-16 winners but I’m sure there was plenty to work on at the training ground the following week.

Check back later this week for an in depth look at the next two incredible games…