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Super 8's The Qualifiers

The Qualifiers Round 5 – Hull Kingston Rovers v Bradford Bulls Preview

Hull KR have an unblemished record in the Qualifiers up to now, and that should continue after this weekend unless an upset is caused by Bradford at the KC Lightstream Stadium. A slender two points was the difference between the Robins and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday, while Bradford were hammered by Widnes Vikings.

Last Time Out

It was back to Qualifiers action for Hull KR after their Wembley shocker. Wakefield visited the KC Lightstream Stadium, and so nearly got the better side of the Robins. Chris Chester’s Rovers won by two points, and he will have been happy with his side’s response following their performance in the Challenge Cup Final. However, the match didn’t start too well for Hull KR as Wakefield scored three tries without reply. Kevin Locke bagged a brace and Lee Smith also scored a try. What proved to be the Wildcats downfall was their conversions, none of the three tries were converted. Josh Mantellato and Kieran Dixon scored a converted try each before half-time to put the Rovers two points behind after the first 40 minutes of play. With just over ten minutes of the match to play, Dixon scored his second try of the afternoon to give his side the lead for the first time. Shaun Lunt’s four-pointer a few minutes later extended the hosts’ advantage before Smith completed his double for Wakefield. Rovers just managed to hold on in the end to seal their fourth consecutive Qualifiers win.

Bradford played host to Widnes Vikings, a side who were in second place going into the match and they ended the day there too. The Bulls were defeated 56-12 at the Provident Stadium, but Adrian Purtell put them in the lead after 17 minutes. Two first half tries from Joe Mellor and a lone score by Patrick Ah Van gave Widnes a nice looking lead, but Omari Caro cut the deficit for the hosts a minute before the break. Denis Betts’ Vikings scored seven tries in the second half as they ran away with the spoils. Mellor completed his hat-trick, as did Ah Van, during the final 40 minutes. Other four-pointers for the visitors came from Charly Runciman, Hep Cahill, Rhys Hanbury and Kevin Brown.

Key Battle

Hull KR wingers Ken Sio and Josh Mantellato have been a pair of great signings by Chris Chester, and the latter added another try to his ever-growing tally last weekend. Sio didn’t get on the scoresheet against Wakefield but a try drought is rather rare for the former Parramatta wingman. Former Rovers winger Omari Caro has been a regular visitor to the try-line for Bradford since his move there in the latter stages of the regular Kingstone Press Championship season. Last Sunday’s match was no different for Caro, he crossed the Widnes whitewash in the 39th minute. Danny Williams was the other winger for Bradford but he was kept quiet and didn’t manage to score.


Chris Chester will just keep asking his side to pull out the goods for the next three weeks until the end of the Qualifiers campaign. One more win would probably confirm their Super League safety but there’ll be teams wanting to knock the Robins off their perch and Bradford will be no different. Despite their heavy defeat last Sunday, the Bulls have a chance to instantly redeem themselves and a win over Hull KR would definitely make other teams in the Qualifiers stand up and take notice – Hull KR by 18

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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