Swinton 28 Bradford 35: Bulls beat Lions as Lee Smith eyes new challenge

Former Leeds star Lee Smith.
Former Leeds star Lee Smith.
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Former England international and three-time Grand Final winner Lee Smith is hoping his experience can help revive the fortunes of Bradford.

The 30-year-old former Leeds and Wakefield outside back has joined the Bulls on a two-year contract following his recent release from Leigh.

Smith, who was in England’s 2008 World Cup team, says he and captain Leon Pryce, another former international, will be looking to provide much-needed experience to a youthful Bradford side in a rebuilding stage following the break-up of last year’s squad in the wake of the club’s liquidation.

“I’m over the moon to join the club and we see if we can get them back to where they once were,” Smith said. “To get a contract and get back playing as soon as I can is great. I can’t thank Bradford enough for that.

“I would love to help the young kids as much I can. I think the best way that I can do that is by playing well and doing what I can for them to play off me.”

Bradford are facing a battle for survival in Kingstone Press League 1 after starting the season on minus 12 points as a result of liquidation and losing their opening two games.

“It’s not going to be fixed in a year,” Smith added. “We can take it week by week and plan on where we’re going to pick up two points from then.

“If we knock the 12 points off, we can go from that and carry on looking up the ladder.

“I played last year in the Championship with Leigh and it’s a tough league, a lot harder than what I expected it to be when I signed.”

A hat-trick from Ethan Ryan helped the Bulls get their first win of the season yesterday, beating Swinton Lions 38-25.

Bradford were 22-10 ahead at half-time, and took victory with further tries from Oscar Thomas – who kicked five goals and a drop-goal – Ross Oakes and James Mendelka.

Swinton: Murphy, Robinson, Higginson, Forsyth, T. Davies, Gore, Atkin, Hand, Kenny, Bracek, Dwyer, Thornley, Lever. Substitutes: Navarette, Bate, O. Davies, Austin.

Bradford: Thomas, Macani, Oakes, Mendeika, Ryan, Pryce, Keyes, Roche, Moore, Magrin, Larroyer, Bentley, Jordan. Substitutes: Kirk, Halafihi, Oledzki, Walker.

Referee: A Sweet (RFL).