Bradford Bulls 72 Doncaster 6: Thornton facing huge challenge as Bulls inflict 14-try humiliation

Doncaster coach Gary Thornton.Doncaster coach Gary Thornton.
Doncaster coach Gary Thornton.
New Doncaster coach Gary Thornton was given a graphic picture of the task ahead as Bradford ran in 14 tries, including four from winger Danny Williams, to inflict the biggest defeat of the season on the bottom-of-the-table South Yorkshire side.

The victory – Bradford’s biggest in the league – takes them joint top of the table with Leigh, who suffered a first defeat of the season at London.

Thornton was announced as successor to Paul Cooke last Tuesday and could not have had a much tougher opening game.

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And with the Dons without a win of any kind since August last year it was always unlikely that there would be any shocks.

Adam Sidlow showed commendable pace for a prop to open the scoring, then further quickfire scores from Danny Addy and Ryan Shaw forged a 14-0 lead with the Bulls running at a point a minute.

The Dons hit back when Pasqualle Dunn pounced on Jean Philippe Baile’s handling error, kicking ahead then picking up to score.

But live-wire winger Williams restored the Bulls’ control and had Shaw managed to land more than one of his four conversion attempts and the hosts not squandered other chances, they could have been further in front.

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The Bulls were more clinical after half time with six more tries, from James Mendeika, on his home debut, Williams, Etu Uaisele, Adam Henry, Steve Crossley and Lee Gaskell before the hour-mark, four converted by Addy in the absence of head knock victim Shaw.

The visitors’ troubles were amplified when prop Matt Groat was sin-binned after a errant challenge on Gaskell, although only second tries for Crossley and Mendeika plus two more from Williams were conceded in the final quarter, Addy finishing with seven goals.

Bradford: Shaw; Williams, Purtell, Henry, Uaisele; Gaskell, Addy; Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Pitts, Mellor. Substitutes: Lauaki, Crossley, Baile, Mendeika.

Doncaster: Scott; Doherty, Cowling, Welhan, Fox; Kesik, Cunningham; Groat, Emmett, Clark, Foster, Turgot, Dunn. Substitutes: Spiers, Carbutt, Walton, Sanderson.

Referee: T Crashley (RFL).