Date: Friday 3rd April
Venue: Provident Stadium
A West Yorkshire derby at the Provident Stadium, contested by one team who’s 2nd in the table while the other is just outside the top four and find themselves in 5th.
Last Time Out
It was deja vu at Bradford as Workington Town came to visit for the second time in as many weeks. James Lowes’ Bulls won the Challenge Cup match a week prior 74-6 and I’m sure everyone associated with Bradford was hoping for the same kind of result. The 4,238 people at the Provident Stadium witnessed a 36-6 victory to the hosts in what was a no-frills league victory for the hosts. At 14-0 up at half-time, many Bulls fans had a right to be slightly disgruntled at the score but the burners were marginally put on in the second half as they cruised to an easy two points. Jay Pitts, Jake Mullaney and Danny Williams all scored four pointers in the first half. The second half saw Henry and Williams complete their braces while Lee Gaskell got a score of his own on the 54th minute. Perry Whiteley made sure that Town wouldn’t go home with a blank on the scoreboard as he crossed just before the hour mark.
Halifax went down south to the capital last Saturday with a clash against the London Broncos on the horizon. London had two wins from as many matches on their home turf and they made it three from three with a 22-18 win over Richard Marshall’s men. Nothing could separate the two sides going into half-time, the score deadlocked at 12-12. Halifax’s tries came courtesy of James Saltonstall and Ben Heaton while London’s scores were served up by Daniel Harrison and Matt Garside. After the break, Fax’ took the lead thanks to prop forward Mitch Cahalane barging his way over the try line. Iliess Macani replied for London but a missed conversion from Wes Naiqama meant that the visitors were two points up with 19 minutes left to play. Four minutes after Macani’s score came the winner for Andrew Henderson’s men as Brad Dwyer picked up a loose ball and ran to the whitewash with a chasing West Yorkshire pack fast approaching. Naiqama converted that try, ending the point scoring for the tie.
The back row division of both sides is rather strong and should be a very intriguing battle to watch during the 80 minutes of play. Bradford, against Workington, started with Tom Olbison and Jay Pitts in the second-row while Danny Addy played at loose forward. All three have good talent and will be looking to cause Halifax some major problems, therefore giving half-backs Lee Gaskell and Harry Siejka time and space to create havoc. For Halifax, the boisterous Dane Manning was joined by Ross Divorty in the second-row while Jacob Fairbank, on loan from Huddersfield Giants, played at loose forward. All three have good go-forward and should be up for the challenge of counteracting their opposite numbers in the back row.
If this was at The Shay, many people will have been tempted to give Halifax more of a chance in the match. But this encounter will take place at the Provident Stadium, and there won’t be many teams who’ll go there and get the better of Bradford. The Bulls will start off as favourites and it’ll be Halifax’s job to upset the applecart – Bradford by 14