Bradford Bulls failed to break their season’s duck and remain on minus 12 points after a 22-14 defeat in their opening home match in the Championship against newly-promoted Rochdale.
An error-strewn Bulls, barely three weeks after being reformed following liquidation and suffering the subsequent RFL points deduction, failed to master snowy conditions as the in-form Hornets were able to move on from their 46-0 destruction of Dewsbury the previous week.
It was the Lancastrians’ first victory over Bradford for 26 years and their first at Odsal since 1971.
The Bulls, who lost 54-24 at Championship title favourites Hull KR in the opening round, made the ideal start and went ahead after only three minutes when, helped forward by successive penalties, full-back Oscar Thomas pounced on a well-weighted grubber by Leeds loanee Jordan Lilley.
Thomas surprisingly missed the conversion and the visitors bounced back through former Halifax player Miles Greenwood who darted onto a Lewis Palfrey pass to score.
Palfrey added the extras then edged the Hornets further in front with a penalty.
The sleet relented but handling errors in the wet and bitter cold dictated a poor completion rate with the Bulls the biggest offenders.
However the hosts regained the lead when James Bentley ran onto a Thomas stab in goal and this time the Bulls full-back made no mistake with the subsequent kick, then added a penalty to earn his side a 12-8 half time lead.
Rochdale’s Jo Taira was sin-binned for a late tackle and Thomas extended the lead with another goal after the break before Hornets bounced back with two decisive tries in five minutes – both from former Bradford players.
Powerful prop Samir Tahraoui, who also appeared for Keighley last year, took a clutch of Bulls defenders across the whitewash with him to score, then Danny Bridge who spent a while on loan at Odsal in 2014, dived over from a Danny Yates pass.
Palfrey only managed one conversion but made amends with a penalty shortly afterwards.
Yates missed an attempted drop goal but Palfrey then sealed the Hormets’ second consecutive win with another, last minute, penalty.
Bradford Bulls: Thomas, Ryan, Mendeika, Oakjes, Macani, Pryce, Lilley, Kirk, Lumb, Magrin, Roche, Bentley, Wilkinson. Substitutes: Peltier, Hallas, Jordan-Roberts, Oledzki.
Rochdale Hornets: Greenwood, Riley, Ecclestone, Galbraith, Massam, Palfry, Yates, Tahrahoui, Moores, Bennion, Bridge, Crowley, Middlehurst. Substitutes: Maneely, Taira, Hadden, Case.
Referee: J Roberts (Leeds).