Salford City Reds 20 Bradford Bulls 20
BRADFORD Bulls were denied victory as Jodie Broughton snatched a dramatic draw for Salford with a try three minutes from time.
The home side trailed 20-16 until Broughton took Luke Patten’s pass to go over in the corner but Daniel Holdsworth missed the conversion.
Karl Pryce bagged a hat-trick for the Bulls, who were also awarded a controversial try for Tom Burgess by referee Richard Silverwood.
Salford, playing against a strong wind in the first half, trailed 10-6 at the break.
The Bulls were missing the suspended John Bateman with Andy Purtell, Jarrod Sammut, Chev Walker, Nick Scruton and Brett Kearney still sidelined through injury.
But Bryn Hargreaves, formerly with Wigan and St Helens, made his 200th career appearance.
Salford faced an uphill task winning the forward battle with Shannon McPherson, Ben Gledhill, Jordan James, Vinnie Anderson and Wayne Godwin all missing from a depleted pack.
But Reds prop Adam Sidlow ploughed over for a try after Craig Kopczak conceded a penalty. Holdsworth tagged on the goal.
Salford’s defence held firm until Pryce powered over in the corner after 32 minutes. Luke Gale missed the conversion but Elliott Whitehead’s surging run gave Bradford more confidence.
Pryce notched his second try in three minutes from Gale’s looping pass after Salford conceded another penalty. This time Gale made no mistake with the goal attempt to fire his side ahead 10-6 at the interval. After the break, Holdsworth and Sean Gleeson combined for Danny Williams to squeeze over in the corner to make it 10-10.
The Bulls hit back immediately with Pryce completing his hat-trick, but Gleeson’s smart flick pass put Williams over for his second try. Holdsworth’s conversion edged the Reds in front 16-14.
Burgess’s controversial try nine minutes from time restored the Bulls’ lead. Shaun Ainscough looked yards offside when he collected Ben Jeffries’s kick to put Burgess over and Gale converted to make it 20-16.
Referee Silverwood allowed the try to stand, to Salford’s fury, but Broughton struck back after Oliver Elima was sin-binned.
Salford: Patten, Broughton, Moon, Gleeson, Williams, Holdsworth, Smith, Jewitt, Howarth, Sidlow, Ashurst, Adamson, Wild. Substitutes: Owen, Paleaaesina, Boyle, Nero.
Bradford: Kear, Pryce, Platt, Lulia, Ainscough, Jeffries, Gale, Kopczak, Diskin, Hargreaves, Elima, Whitehead, Langley. Substitutes: L’Estrange, Addy, Manuokafoa, Burgess.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Great Britain).
Bradford coach Mick Potter has called for a quick resolution to the club’s boardroom re-shuffle so that he can begin his preparations for next season.
With no fewer than 17 players out of contract, Potter is acutely aware of the pressing need to secure the future of the club’s brightest stars.
“My concern is to start to re-sign players that need to be re-signed and that ball needs to start rolling very soon,” he said.