Two of the league’s full-time sides go head to head at the Provident Stadium on Sunday when Bradford Bulls take on Sheffield Eagles. Both teams come into the game after losses on Easter Monday but who will get back on track at the first time of asking?
Last Time Out
Bradford were beaten 14-10 by Halifax at The Shay in round eight. On an afternoon when Halifax’s season potentially turned around, Bradford were left to ponder a disappointing result to finish the Easter period. The Bulls did take the lead after six minutes through Etu Uaisele but two tries on the spin for Halifax gave the hosts an eight point advantage at the break. Jake Eccleston and Dane Manning were the try-scorers for Fax. Shortly after the restart, Halifax had extended their lead courtesy of a Steve Tyrer penalty goal. The 14-4 scoreline remained the same until the 70th minute when James Clare crossed the whitewash for the visitors. Danny Addy converted and there was only four points separating the sides heading into the dying embers of the clash. Unfortunately for James Lowes’ men, they couldn’t break through the Halifax defence for a third time as the hosts held on for victory.
Sheffield’s recent dismal run continued with a 34-16 loss to Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium. The Eagles sit eighth in the Kingstone Press Championship after the loss in West Yorkshire. Dewsbury notched the first two tries of the game inside the first 20 minutes. Wingers Dale Morton and Dalton Grant scored the four pointers for the hosts as they went 10-0 up. Dave Hewitt replied for Sheffield with a try of his own before the steel city side conceded a score on the hooter. Morton touched down for his second try of the afternoon and Sykes was successful with his conversion. Dewsbury led 16-6 at the break. After the interval, Rob Worrincy got the Eagles’ account rolling for the second half with a try but things came tumbling down completely before the final quarter was even reached. Two tries, from Shane Grady and Joel Farrell, in as many minutes meant there was no way back for the Eagles who were 28-10 down. They did show a bit of fight thanks to a Michael Knowles try but the hosts saw out the game in style as Sykes slotted over a penalty goal before Luke Adamson rounded the game off with a four pointer.
The addition of Rhys Jacks to the Eagles squad is yet to bear fruit but, with a game against his former trial team on the horizon, the Canadian international will be wanting to make a great impression. Used in a hooking role recently, as well as having a little time in the halves, Jacks’ time at the club has been scattered around the field. Young duo Cory Aston and Dave Hewitt have been starting in the halves recently. Whether or not changes are made to the usual lineup remains to be seen. Danny Addy and Lee Gaskell have been the half-backs for Bradford since their relegation from Super League and, especially on home turf, they’re a mean force to deal with. If Bradford score a few quick tries to start off the game on Sunday, the floodgates may start to open and the pair will have a field day.
Every game from now on is a big one for the Eagles as they look to buck the current trend of disappointing performances. The move to becoming a full-time club hasn’t been the easiest for the steel city side but a win over Bradford would definitely make things a bit brighter. The Bulls will also be looking to get back on track after the loss to Halifax, as well as a number of underwhelming performances as of late – Bradford by 20