Rochdale Hornets 28 - 14 Bradford Bulls
Date published: 18 June 2017
Photo: Jackie Meredith
Jovili Taira scored two of Rochdale Hornets tries against Bradford Bulls
Rochdale Hornets won at home for the first time since the opening game of the season with a thrilling second half display against Bradford Bulls at the Crown Oil Arena.
With half time fast approaching, Hornets were 6-14 down and things were looking ominous before Jo Taira touched down to bring Hornets back within two points of Bradford at the break.
The second half was all Hornets - in a dominant display they added two tries, two goals and two penalties, whilst denying Bradford a single point, to win the game.
Bradford took an early lead when sharp play at the scrum saw Lilley break through the Hornets defence and feed James Bentley who crossed the whitewash. Oscar Thomas converted.
Ted Chapelhow increased Bradford's lead when he stumbled his way under the posts despite four Hornets players being on top of him. Thomas with the easiest of tasks to add the two.
Hornets opened their account after half an hour when Jo Taira smashed through to touch down under the posts. Danny Yates successful with the conversion.
The referee was penalising Hornets at what seemed every opportunity and the fifth such penalty lead to Bradford increasing their lead. Thomas opting to kick from in front of the posts.
With half time fast approaching, Hornets got back in the game when Taira burst through the Bradford line, stepped the full back and galloped under the posts. Yates converted to bring Hornets within two points of Bradford at the break.
Half time: Rochdale Hornets 12 -14 Bradford Bulls
Within minutes of the restart, Hornets took the lead for the first time in the game - a lead they were never to relinquish. Lewis Galbraith sliced through the Bradford line to touch down on the left flank. Yates, with a superb kick from the touchline, added the extras.
Midway through the second half and Bradford were pulled for offside. Hornets opted to kick the resulting penalty from 20 metres, just to the right of the posts, and Yates made no mistake to add a further two to Hornets points tally.
With ten minutes to play, Bradford stepped up the pressure with repeated sets close to the Hornets line, but the Hornets defence stood firm and rebuffed all the Bradford attempts. When they did manage to cross the try line, Ross Peltier was held up.
Still Bradford piled forward but Rob Massam intercepted and broke from deep to make 60 metres.
Just minutes left to play and it was Hornets turn to camp on the Bradford line, the difference being Hornets made it count as Ben Moores chipped over and Matty Hadden snatched the ball out of thin air to crash over. Yates added the extras.
When Bradford were penalised for a high shot, Yates it was who rounded off the scoring as he nailed the kick from all of forty metres to cap a superb second half Hornets performance.
Rochdale Hornets: Declan Kay, Jake Eccleston, Jordan Case, Lewis Gailbraith, Rob Massam, Lewis Foster, Danny Yates, Anthony Walker, Ben Moores, Gavin Bennion, Jono Smith, Josh Crowley, Gary Middlehurst.
Replacements: Lewis Hatton, Jovili Taira, Matty Hadden, Lee Mitchell.
Tries: Jovili Taira (2), Lewis Galbraith, Matty Hadden.
Goals: Danny Yates (6).
Bradford Bulls: Oscar Thomas, Johnny Campbell, Ross Oakes, Ed Chamberlain, Omari Caro, Jordan Lilley, Joe Keyes, Liam Kirk, Scott Moore, Ross Peltier, Cameron Smith, James Bentley, Sam Hallas.
Replacements: James Mendeika, Brandan Wilkinson, Ted Chapelhow, James Davies.
Tries: James Bentley, Ted Chapelhow.
Goals: Oscar Thomas (3).
Referee: C Straw.