Leigh’s unbeaten home run was dramatically saved by Reni Maitua and Lee Smith in the final few minutes as Bradford’s comeback was almost complete in a game where victory was almost needed as they fight to reach the qualifiers and the opportunity to battle for a Super League place in 2017.
It was a quick start for the Centurions as they raced into a lead as they scored two tries in the opening 10 minutes through Smith and forward Gareth Hock. Smith went in out wide after Josh Drinkwater and Travis Burns combined to send the former Leeds Rhino in. Hock utilized a big hole in the Bulls right hand side defence. Smith couldn’t convert his own try but converted Hock’s to leave the score at 10-0. The Bulls poor start continued as they then kicked the ball dead off the kick off but the Centurions couldn’t take advantage as Maitua lost the ball just short of the visitors try line.
The Bulls got their first points of the afternoon as winger Omari Caro crossed as Danny Addy found Caro with a cut out pass showing the stand off’s skill. Addy couldn’t convert from out wide. The game was becoming you score we score as the Centurions hit back through Greg Worthington as he made an angled run on the short side to get the ball over. The bulls continued the scoring as Kieran Moss as he finished a well worked move. Addy converted to reduce the gap to four.
With a few minutes left in the half Micky Higham made a run and was caught, he got a penalty and Smith slotted it over to leave the half time gap at six points.
The Bulls had the best of the opening 20 in the second half as they scored two tries through James Clare and Alex Mellor, Addy could only convert one of the tries but they lead 20-16 with 25 minutes to go. The scoreline was still the same with five minutes to go and the Centurions unbeaten league run in 2016 was looking to come to an end. Reni Maitua had other ideas.
Maitua received the ball from Josh Drinkwater and he barged his way over to level the scores. Smith slotted over the extras to secure the victory and keep the unbeaten home record intact.
Smith, Hock, Worthington, Maitua
Caro, Moss, Clare, Mellor
Prediction – Centurions by 14.
Result – Centurions by 2.