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Super 8's The Qualifiers

The Qualifiers Round 4 – Bradford Bulls v Widnes Vikings Preview

After a quite superb home victory against Salford Red Devils in the last round of matches, Bradford Bulls will be full of enthusiasm as they face Widnes Vikings on Sunday. Denis Betts’ Vikings were defeated on home territory in round three so a win in West Yorkshire at the weekend will do their survival cause a whole world of good.

Last Time Out

Bradford Bulls staked their claim for a Super League place by demolishing Salford Red Devils at the Provident Stadium. A 41-10 victory was the perfect response to a defeat at Wakefield in round two. The Bulls held a 17-4 lead at half-time after tries from Dale Ferguson, Danny Williams and Jake Mullaney. Former Salford man Mullaney also slotted over a drop-goal before the break. Rangi Chase notched the Red Devils’ only try of a meagre first period. Mullaney added a second try to his tally after 43 minutes as the Bulls started to pull further away from their top tier counterparts. The hosts posted three more tries before the hour mark. Danny Addy, James Clare and Adrian Purtell all crossed the whitewash to round off Bradford’s scoring for the afternoon. Iain Thornley managed to touch down for a consolation effort but the Red Devils were outplayed and out-enthused in every department.

Widnes Vikings’ unblemished record in the Qualifiers came to an end after Hull Kingston Rovers prepared for their Wembley date with a 12-8 victory at the Select Security Stadium. Kris Welham’s converted try on 36 minutes was the difference between the two sides after 40 minutes. Charly Runciman scored a try in the early stages of the second half to cut the deficit by four points. But, in a game where defences came out on top for the most part, the Robins breached the Vikings line through George Lawler. Mantellato converted to make it a two score game so when Matt Whitley scored in the dying embers of the game it was a case of too little, too late for the hosts.

Key Battle

The back-row division of Bradford Bulls has been class all season, and they don’t look like letting up just yet. Dale Ferguson, Tom Olbison and Jay Pitts are constant threats to the opposition, with dangerous line breaks and crafty offloads a full part of their repertoire. The trio all started against Salford while Alex Mellor was on the bench. Bradford take on Widnes on Sunday, and the Vikings bring with them a strong forward pack. A back-row of Danny Galea, Danny Tickle and Hep Cahill is one of experience at the top level, and that will be vital to Widnes’ cause in the Qualifiers.


A repeat of round three would be perfect for Bradford but Widnes should prove more of a threat to the Bulls than the Red Devils. It’s third versus second at the Provident Stadium, who will come out on top in this one? – Widnes by 12

I study Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. Write about the Kingstone Press Championship for a few websites, as well as doing match reports and previews for Sheffield Eagles.

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