A repeat of the final Kingstone Press Championship fixture, Bradford will be hoping for a different result altogether as they prepare for the Million Pound Game. Halifax triumphed 20-16 in the last meeting between the two sides. Bradford sealed their place in the promotion shootout with a win over Leigh Centurions last weekend, while Halifax lost 30-12 at Wakefield.
Last Time Out
Bradford Bulls travelled to the Leigh Sports Village for a clash with Leigh Centurions. James Lowes’ Bulls knew a win would confirm their place in the Million Pound Game. A win is what they got. A 32-16 victory marked a job well done by the West Yorkshire side, who will now look forward to a match with Halifax before the real business begins. Jake Mullaney and Danny Williams both scored a try each during the first half as the Bulls went 10-0 to the good, before Leigh hit back to level the scores. Adam Higson and Gregg McNally both crossed the whitewash in the dying embers of the first period, the match was finely poised as it entered the final 40. Williams notched his second score of the afternoon eight minutes after the restart, and when Addy slotted over a penalty goal ten minutes later, Leigh had their work cut out. Matty Blythe touched down an Adam O’Brien grubber to put even more daylight between the two sides on the hour, the Centurions just had too much to do despite a Bob Beswick consolation. Beswick’s four-pointer wasn’t the final scoring act, though. Blythe added another try to his collection following Pitts pouncing on a loose ball after a Leigh attack broke down.
Halifax have performed valiantly against most sides in the Qualifiers, and last Saturday was no exception despite an 18 point defeat to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. Michael Sio opened the scoring for the hosts before Jake Eccleston hit back for Fax. A two score lead was established by Wakefield before half-time arrived. Sio grabbed his second try of proceedings before French forward Mickael Simon barged his way over. After the restart, Wakefield added to their advantage through a penalty goal from Joe Arundel. Anthony Mullally put the game’s result beyond any doubt on 68 minutes when he bust the line from short range. Halifax’s chief creator, Scott Murrell, turned into the try-scorer with three minutes remaining. Fax were denied on many occasions by great scrambling from the Wildcats defence, but Murrell managed to find his way over the whitewash after good work from full-back Ben Johnston. But the final say went to Max Jowitt of Wakefield, the young full-back scored from long range with a minute left.
Mitch Cahalane and Adam Tangata have both signed extended contracts with Halifax, and the pair of prop forwards will prove a big threat to Bradford on Saturday. With Richard Moore on the bench to provide even more firepower, the Bulls can’t just slack off in the middle. Bradford started with their tried and trusted duo of Paul Clough and Adam Sidlow in the front-row, and they called upon Epalahame Lauaki and Steve Crossley when needed. Even though this game could be classed as a ‘dead rubber’, the battle of the forwards will be as feisty as ever.
Bradford will want to go into the Million Pound Game with another win under their belts. Halifax have been very good during the Qualifiers campaign to say they’re a part-time club, will Richard Marshall’s men finish their season in style? – Bradford by 16
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