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Bradford revival splutters as Salford take Odsal points

Salford bounced back from two heavy defeats to end Bradford’s recent surge up the table with a comfortable victory at Odsal.

The City Reds had conceded 96 points in their previous two games against Leeds and Catalans but showed no lack of confidence as they put the Bulls to the sword in a torrid first half.

They scored six tries before the interval to go in leading 30-6.

The Reds went ahead after nine minutes.

Daniel Holdsworth’s long missed pass found winger Josh Veivers who managed to reach out and ground the ball despite the attention of opposite number Karl Pryce, although Holdsworth was unable to add the touchline conversion.

Brett Kearney crossed after a deft runaround move with half-back Jarrod Sammut, with the former Crusaders stand-off adding the extras to briefly edge the home side in front.

But a Holdsworth kick rebounded kindly off a Bradford player for Joel Moon, just back from a troublesome hand injury, to gather and score, Holdsworth this time finding the target with his kick and the visitors were on their way.

The Reds went further ahead when Stephen Wild broke clear and Luke Patten was on hand to take the pass around full-back Kearney.

Heath L’Estrange almost got the Bulls back into the game – his break being taken on by Elliott Whitehead but Tom Burgess’s subsequent pass went astray and the chance had gone

Pryce also crossed in the corner but the supply pass was ruled forward as Bradford struggled to finish their chances.

L’Estrange created a half break for Burgess who again off-loaded erroneously, this time into the arms of Moon who ran 60 metres to the line for his second score of the game.

Ashley Gibson took advantage of a fortuitous bounce as Holdsworth’s diagonal kick reared over a wrong-footed Jason Crookes just before half time and Matty Ashurst added Salford’s sixth try on the half-time hooter to put the Reds almost out of sight.

Elliott Whitehead gave Bradford some hope with a try six minutes after the restart but Gareth Owen finished off another long-range break started by Ashurst at the other to quickly quench the home side’s fire.

Bryn Hargreaves grabbed another consolation try for the hosts, while Holdsworth slotted two late penalties for the Reds, to bring his final goal tally to five, just to make sure – the final margin of victory leapfrogging the visitors above seventh-placed Bulls in the table.

Bradford Bulls: Kearney, Pryce, Sykes, Lulia, Crookes, Sammut, Jeffries, Manuokafoa, Diskin, Hargreaves, Whitehead, C. Walker, Langley. Substitutes: L’Estrange, Burgess, Bateman, Addy.

Salford City Reds: Patten, Gibson, Gleeson, Moon, Veivers, Holdsworth, Smith, Jewitt, Howarth, Boyle, Ashurst, Anderson, Wild. Substitutes: Adamson, Paleaaesina, James, Owen.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).

 

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