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Swinton Lions v Bradford Bulls Preview

As Swinton’s ground complications continue, this match will be played at Widnes’ Select Security Stadium on Saturday evening. The Lions enter the game after a loss to London while Bradford picked up a win at Whitehaven.

Last Time Out

Swinton were defeated against London at the Trailfinders Sports Ground. The Lions were in front at half-time after outscoring the Broncos three tries to two. Ben White, Carl Forster and Andy Thornley all touched down for a try apiece, the Broncos had Alex Walker to thank for scoring their two tries in the half. Unfortunately for the visitors, they were left scoreless in the second half as London took over and won the game with a powerful performance. Matt Garside, Jack Bussey, Alex Foster, Iliess Macani and Joe Keyes were the try-scorers for the Broncos, who have now won their first two matches of the season.

Despite the bitterly cold conditions in Whitehaven last Saturday evening, Bradford were just too hot  for the Cumbrians to handle. A 46-10 win sent the Bulls fans back to West Yorkshire with smiles on their faces, their side weren’t in any sort of trouble during the tie. James Clare got the ball rolling for Bradford with a try after four minutes before four scores in a quick amount of time pretty much put the end result beyond doubt, even though there was still an hour left to play. Lee Gaskell scored on two occasions, Jay Pitts and Dale Ferguson being the scorers of the other two tries. Jay Chapelhow replied for Whitehaven with a try on 37 minutes to spark a bit of life back into his side. After the interval, Connor Holliday reduced the arrears further for Whitehaven with his team’s second try of the match but Bradford soon put any hope of a comeback to bed – Adam O’Brien and Gaskell both putting up tries to seal the deal. Pitts and Gaskell popped up over the whitewash later on in the half to finish off the evening in style.

Key Battle

The back-row of Dale Ferguson, Kurt Haggerty and Jay Pitts wouldn’t look out of place in Super League. However, the trio are plying their trade for Bradford in the Championship and are dominating on a weekly basis. All three are strong runners but clever players and have good ball handling skills. Andy Thornley, Connor Dwyer and Carl Forster were the back-rowers for Swinton against London last weekend. Forster has recently signed with Swinton from Salford Red Devils while Thornley has also played with Salford in the past as well as Leigh. It’ll be a challenge for Swinton’s pack to match up to Bradford but coach John Duffy will have his players motivated to cause an upset.

Prediction

Bradford will be striving to keep their unbeaten record going into the latter stages of the year but they will have to be wary of games such as this. Swinton, even though they’ve only just been promoted to the Championship, boast a good set of players who will give any side a run for their money when they’re all on the same wave length. Bradford will be wanting an easy ride on Saturday but they definitely won’t get that if they try to underestimate the Lions – Bradford by 22

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