Send us news by text, start your message World News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Bradford Bulls haul in Widnes Vikings' flying start
10:13am Monday 6th August 2012 in Vikings news
Bradford Bulls 38 Widnes Vikings 26
WIDNES went down 38-26 to Bradford Bulls despite getting off to a flying start at Odsal.
Vikings boss Denis Betts described the previous week's defeat at home to Hull Kingston Rovers as frustrating.
He would struggle to find a more apt abjective for this week's showing.
Widnes went into the game without the services of injury-stricken Ben Cross, Eamonn O'Carroll, Joe Mellor and Shaun Briscoe.
But it didn't show in the early stages.
Only five minutes had gone when just enough space was engineered on the left wing to allow Patrck Ah Van to score the opening try.
Rhys Hanbury's superb touchline goal made it 6-0 to the Vikings.
Five minutes more and Widnes were in again.
This time it was Ben Davies who finished off with referee Steve Ganson correctly awarding the score as the Widnes prop was clearly not held in a tackle as he rolled over the whitewash.
The home side hit back with their first real attacking foray of the match.
A couple of dummy runners sucked in the left side of the Widnes defence allowing centre Michael Platt a clear run to the line.
It wouldn't be the last time the Bulls would get some joy up their right hand side.
Bradford coughed up the ball in midfield on 21 minutes and Widnes made the most of it.
Quick hands created the overlap before stand-off Danny Craven sold a dummy to Bradford winger Karl Pryce and outsprinted the cover in a 30 metre dash to the right corner.
Hanbury failed with the goal but Vikings looked set fair at 16-4.
They were soon rocked out of their comfort zone when the dangerous Keith Lulia broke clear to send Bulls full back Brett Kearney to the posts.
Ex-Widnes winger Shaun Ainscough pulled Bradford back on to level terms as the Vikings' defensive frailties were again exposed and on 34 minutes the turnaround was complete when Ben Jeffries finished off a flowing move to give his side a 22-16 lead.
That looked likely to be the half-time score but just as the hooter sounded, Hanbury forced his way over to pull four points back.
The early part of the second half produced little in the way of memorable rugby and nothing in the way of points as both sides' handling left plenty to be desired.
Bradford hooker Heath L'Estrange finally got the scoreboard ticking again as he burrowed over from dummy half despite the presence of enough Vikings defenders to suggest he shouldn't have been able to do so.
On 62 minutes, yet another overlap situation saw Platt stretch over for his second try to give Bulls a 32-20 lead.
Widnes needed the next score and got it when Ah Van showed good footwork and awareness to squeeze in for his second try which he goaled from wide out.
It was to no avail, however.
Bradford dominated field position in the latter stages and after a couple of failed drop-goal attempts went one better as Ainscough sealed the win by sliding over near the posts to make it 38-26.
The game ended in a rain storm of near biblical proportions.
Perhaps the rugby gods were displeased with the result. Bradford: Kearney; Ainscough, Platt, Lulia, Pryce; Jeffries, Gale; Kopczak, L'Estrange, Hargreaves, Olbison, Whitehead, Langley. Subs: Addy, Manuofakoa, Walker, Burgess.
Widnes: Phelps; Isa, Marsh, Dean, Ah Van; Craven, Hanbury; Davies, McShane, Pickersgill, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill. Subs: Clarke, Kite, Haggerty, Gerrard.