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EXTENDED PREVIEW – Bradford Bulls v London Broncos

The two relegated Super League sides go head to head this Sunday. Both teams are currently in the top four of the Kingstone Press Championship. Which one will strengthen their league position by the end of the match?

Last Time Out

Bradford visited Dewsbury for an all West Yorkshire battle with Glenn Morrison’s men. The Bulls were victorious by 30-16, but as the score suggests they had to work hard for that win. Bradford went into the sheds at half-time with a 10-6 lead after tries from Jay Pitts and Etu Uaisele. Dale Morton scored an interception try with moments left to spare for Dewsbury, cutting the deficit to four points as a result. Lee Gaskell and Byron Smith both crossed for their respective sides after the restart, this was before Bradford took a stranglehold on the game with three consecutive tries. A Ryan Shaw single was followed up by a brace from Danny Addy, putting the game out of Dewsbury’s reach in the process. Jason Crookes scored a try in the last minute of the game, a mere consolation but it typified the Rams’ never say die attitude.

London welcomed Batley to The Hive as the Broncos were looking to work on their 100% record at their home in Edgware. Work on it they did with a 25-18 victory over their opponents from West Yorkshire. Matt Garside and Daniel Harrison opened the Broncos’ scoring account for the day, both of the tries came within the first ten minutes of the match starting. Ben Hellewell also went over before half-time arrived, all three tries were converted by Wes Naiqama for a 18-0 advantage. Sean Hesketh and Elliot Minchella exchanged scores for the visitors and the hosts respectively. Batley were soon on the comeback trail when Wayne Reittie and Hesketh went over the whitewash for John Kear’s side. The comeback was never completed, though, as Oscar Thomas had the good state of mind to pop over a drop goal to seal the win for London.

Key Battle

The wingers of both sides will be wanting to impress this Sunday, and that’s where the key battles will take place in my opinion. In Danny Williams and Etu Uaisele (the wingers for Bradford against Dewsbury in round eight), the Bulls have great pace and power on the flanks along with potent scorers. Williams had a stint at Salford where he didn’t disgrace himself at all, scoring 28 tries in 47 appearances. Uaisele spent most of last season on loan at Sheffield. The Tongan first joined Featherstone before finding himself out of favour, he went well at the Eagles from mid-season onwards and caught the eye of James Lowes. Both wingers have good talent, and should Lowes pick the pair, they will cause London some problems. For the Broncos, Iliess Macani and Rhys Williams took up the wing positions against Batley. Macani is a youth product of London’s and is highly rated with some blistering pace to burn. Williams is a good try scorer, and is currently the Broncos’ top talisman this season with seven tries to his name.

Prediction

The Broncos have started to hit some kind of form while Bradford have been far from impressive despite winning all their games since their loss to Leigh in the opening round. Bradford have a more stable squad than London, and on home turf it’d take a brave man to back against them – Bradford by 18

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