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Deacon leads Bradford blitz
Paul Deacon smashed Bradford?s points-scoring record to lift the engage Super League champions? spirits with a 42-16 win over Huddersfield following the shock sale of Stuart Fielden.
The Bulls began life after Fielden in confident fashion, easing their way to a comfortable victory, with Deacon converting all seven tries to set a new scoring record of 1,834, eclipsing the previous best set by Keith Mumby in 1993.
Bradford led only 12-10 after 52 minutes but ran away with the game after hitting a purple patch in which they ran in three tries in a decisive nine-minute spell at the re-named Grattan Stadium.
Lesley Vainikolo, Ben Harris and Brett Ferres all touched down twice while Australian forward Brad Meyers scored the Bulls? other try, fine reward for his efforts as a makeshift prop.
There was no obvious sign of protest over the sale of Fielden to Wigan and the Bulls looked competent enough without their Great Britain prop.
After an attritional opening, Vainikolo broke the deadlock after 19 minutes when Bradford worked the ball out to the right and the visitors? defence stood off the big man, allowing him to cut inside and touch down.
Huddersfield briefly threatened with a neat left-wing move involving full-back Paul Reilly and centre Chris Nero but the Bulls, fresh from their win over St Helens, were very much in command.
The Giants put themselves under pressure when Paul Smith lost the ball inside his own half and, although Nero pulled off a brilliant tackle to deny Vainikolo, the defence could not regroup in time to prevent centre Harris crossing wide out.
Deacon landed both conversions to put himself well on the way to beating Mumby?s record of 1,828 points.
Huddersfield, who have never beaten Bradford in Super League and crashed to a 52-18 at Odsal two months ago, gave themselves hope when Nero took Reilly?s to score in the final act of the first half, with Chris Thorman adding the conversion to make it 12-6 at the break.
Twice the visitors got within range in the first five minutes of the second half and when Matt James and Michael Withers were penalised for separate infringements, Thorman closed the gap to just two points.
Bradford, too, were twice awarded penalties in kickable positions but they chose to run the ball and their enterprise paid off handsomely with three quickfire tries.
First second-rower Ferres touched down a high kick from Iestyn Harris and then Vainikolo grabbed his second try after Withers supplied the final pass.
That enabled Deacon to kick the record-breaking goal and he also converted a solo try from Meyers to stretch his side?s lead to 30-10 going into the final quarter.
Substitute Steve Snitch grabbed a consolation try for Huddersfield, with Thorman kicking his fourth goal from as many attempts.
But Bradford had the final say when Ben Harris forced his way over from close range and Ferres also grabbed his second following a defensive mix-up.
Bradford (12) 42.
Tries: Vainikolo 2, B. Harris 2, Ferres 2, Meyers. Goals: Deacon 7.
Huddersfield (6) 16.
Tries: Nero, Snitch. Goals: Thorman 4.
Bradford: Withers, Vainikolo, Hape, B. Harris, St Hilaire, I. Harris, Deacon, Meyers, Henderson, Lynch, McKenna, Ferres, Langley.
Replacements: Vagana, Gene, James, Pryce.
Huddersfield: Reilly, Aspinwall, Wild, Nero, Donlan, Thorman, Paul, Mason, Drew, Gannon, Crabtree, Smith, Jones.
Replacements: Snitch, Jackson, Gardner, McDonald.
Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)