Leigh 16 Bradford 32: Centurions slain to put Bulls in ‘great position’

Bradford Bulls' Adrian Purtell (right) celebrates.
Bradford Bulls' Adrian Purtell (right) celebrates.
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ADRIAN PURTELL is dreaming of a return to Super League as Bradford Bulls saw off promotion rivals Leigh Centurions to book their place in the ‘Million Pound Game.’

The fallen West Yorkshire giants appear to be on the rise again, but the renaissance will not be complete until they are back in the big time. That opportunity now beckons James Lowes’s side as they prepare to face the Wildcats in a winner-takes-all clash on Saturday, October 3.

Bradford host Halifax at Odsal on Saturday knowing that victory could yet see them pip Wakefield to fourth spot and subsequent home advantage when the sides meet on Saturday week.

Australian centre Purtell, who captained the side, said: “We want to go into that ‘Million Pound Game’ in good form. We’ve got a good opportunity to get a home tie and we will give it everything we’ve got.

“If we win our next two games then we’re in Super League, so we’re in a great position to get to where we want to be.”

Jake Mullaney opened the scoring from Purtell’s pass early on. Danny Williams doubled the Bulls’ advantage before Leigh roused themselves before half-time as tries from Adam Higson and Gregg McNally levelled the scores at 10-10.

But Williams grabbed his second shortly after the restart with another clinical finish and centre Matty Blythe completed a brace of his own in the final quarter.

Bob Beswick scored a late consolation try for Leigh but Bradford’s victory was thoroughly deserved. Bulls counterpart Lowes could not hide his delight after conjuring an ideal response to heavy defeats to Widnes and Hull KR. He said: “We had to show that control and we couldn’t offer Leigh an easy route out.

“They way the players conducted themselves and applied themselves was very good.”

Leigh Centurions: McNally, Higson, Pala, Armstrong, Kay, Reynolds, Brierley, Moimoi, Higham, Spencer, Haggerty, Goulden, Hock. Substitutes: Beswick, Emmitt, Pownall, Wilkes

Bradford Bulls: Mullaney, Williams, Blythe, Nielsen, Clare, Purtell, Siejka, Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Pitts, Addy. Substitutes: Ryan, Lauaki, Crossley, Ferguson.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (RFL).