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No Stopping The Charging Bulls
Bradford Bulls charged to the top of Tetley's Rugby Super League with a 60-6 win over London Broncos in their rearranged clash at Griffin Park on Wednesday night, with Leon Pryce bagging four tries. The Bulls jump above Leeds on points difference following the 11-try rout of a London side who were playing their fourth game in 12 days and looked a tired outfit at times.
The Bulls went ahead after only 100 seconds, punishing an Andrew King knock on for James Lowes to send Paul Anderson powering over from close range.
Leon Pryce added a second when he dummied over with ease on nine minutes, and when the stand off stepped out of Russell Bawden's attempted tackle soon afterwards to race 20 yards to the line the Bulls found themselves 18-0 up inside 14 minutes.
London got themselves back into the game on the quarter mark, converting their first spell of pressure into points, Chris Thorman's well-timed pass putting Bill Peden in, Thorman goaling.
But it was only a brief respite, Francis Stephenson's spill two tackles after the restart allowing Bradford the position for Lowes to send Lesley Vainikolo over unopposed on the short side, Paul Deacon off target for the first time of the evening.
The scrum half's grubber gave Scott Naylor a try on 29 minutes, and a weary Broncos outfit collapsed in the final six minutes before the break, conceding three more scores.
Firstly, Pryce burst through Neil Budworth's tackle and raced 80 yards to the line, standing up King before finishing out wide.
From the kick-off, Vainikolo moved infield and drew the defence before sending Rob Parker charging away, Deacon supporting before giving Vainikolo the chance to dive gleefully under the posts.
And it was his giant wing partner Tevita Vaikona who completed the first half scoring in the final minute, the Bulls running the ball on the last before Naylor put him in at the corner to open up a 42-8 advantage.
London started the second half well, and a Rob Purdham cover tackle on Vainikolo prevented the winger from completing his hat-trick at the corner after good fast hands.
But another Deacon kick did the damage on 50 minutes for Pryce to race through and reach out to touch down for his fourth score of the evening.
Tony Martin and Paul Sykes both saw tries ruled out as the Broncos dug deep, but they again conceded a quick double to see the Bulls race past the half century just after the hour.
A superb offload from Shontayne Hape sent Vainikolo up the wing and Jamie Langley supported to race under the posts.
Anderson then bullocked his way up the middle on 65 minutes, with Mike Forshaw supporting and putting Lowes in for a deserved score, the conversion creating a 60-6 advantage.
Anderson was denied after Nigel Roy managed to get under him with the tackle over the line, while King was unable to take a Thorman kick at the other end as London looked for consolation.
But there was none as the Bulls held on again in style to announce their arrival at the Super League summit in style.
"The performance as a whole was pretty glossy but we're not getting carried away," said Bulls coach Brian Noble afterwards. "I thought the players were great.
"We were determined to make them feel their fatigue as early as possible and there were some impressive performances throughout, but the team ethic was outstanding."
London coach Tony Rea refused to blame the fatigue factor, saying: "It had zero to do with it.
"We lacked a bit of intensity and were a yard behind. By half time there was not much we could do except try to get a break and reel them in.
"It was a better second half, and that is how the first half should have been, it should have been a contest."