Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
2 days ago
In a tense action-packed end-of-the-season clash Bradford Bulls made it three successive wins with a late rally against courageous Huddersfield Giants in a 42-30 engage Super League victory.
The Giants staged a remarkable second-half comeback with a try-scoring flurry and actually took the lead with eight minutes to go, but in the end the Bulls' power, pace and determination proved conclusive.
Huddersfield mounted a furious onslaught on the Bulls' line early on and second-rower Andy Raleigh rode a high tackle before twisting over the line for a try which Michael De Vere goaled.
The Giants enjoyed a brief spell of supremacy before the visitors? attacking machine clicked into top gear.
They drew level in the 12th minute when loose forward Brett Ferres broke through and sent full-back Michael Withers over with Paul Deacon landing the goal.
The Giants, looking for a win to lift them into seventh place hit back, but met solid Bulls defence.
And some appalling cover let the Bulls in for two simple tries.
Both came from former Giants winger Marcus St Hilaire, who was left with a simple run to the line with no opposition within reach - Deacon added the extras on each occasion.
The Bulls' 12-point lead was increased when Withers went over for another try with Deacon again on target with the goal-kick.
Winger Martin Aspinwall started the home revival with a breakaway run to the line, Wayne McDonald barging over for the Giants in his last game before loose forward Stephen Wild showed sizzling pace in outpacing the opposition in a race to the line. De Vere landed both goals to level the scores.
And the Giants had not finished. They continued to put the Bulls defence under pressure and went into the lead when winger Stuart Donlan went over in the corner. De Vere added the goal.
Bradford fought back well and levelled when winger Marcus Bai blasted over in the corner with Deacon slotting the goal over from the touchline.
And as the home defence became more weary Bradford snatched victory when Shontayne Hape charged over in the corner with Deacon landing the goal.
Sam Burgess sealed the win for the Bulls with a try on the hooter, with the reliable Deacon once again adding the goal points.
Huddersfield: 30 (6).
Tries: Raleigh, Aspinwall, McDonald, Wild, Donlan.
Goals: De Vere 5.
Bradford: 42 (18).
Tries: Withers 2, St Hilaire 2, Bai, Hape, Burgess.
Goals: Deacon 7.
Huddersfield: Reilly, Aspinwall, Nero, De Vere, Donlan, Brown, Paul, Jackson, Drew, Gannon, Smith, Raleigh, Wild.
Replacements: Thorman, Crabtree, Jones, McDonald.
Bradford: Withers, Bai, B. Harris, Hape, St Hilaire, I. Harris, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, Meyers, McKenna, Ferres.
Replacements: Pryce, Johnson, Henderson, Burgess.
Referee: Phil Benson (Bolton)