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Bradford Bulls 25 London Broncos 12
The Bulls put their off-field crisis to one side by eking out a potentially priceless victory against London Broncos this afternoon.
Francis Cummins’ side have been hit with a six-point deduction and the loss of Nick Scruton to Wakefield during the past week.
But they survived a fraught finale to claim victory over the Broncos and move on to minus two points in their battle to avoid relegation.
Luke Gale opened the scoring in exhilarating fashion in the 11th minute when he took Jamie Foster’s pass to finish off a flowing move inside the left channel.
The impressive Adam Sidlow barrelled over for a second in the 25th minute after London had lost Nesiasi Mataitonga and Mason Caton-Brown through injury.
Yet the Londoners replied in the 28th minute when on-loan Leeds winger Thomas Minns touched down in the right corner, making it 12-6 at the break.
But Danny Addy superbly rounded off some excellent work by James Donaldson for a third Bradford try in the 61st minute, giving them some vital breathing space.
London were not finished, however, and James Cunningham scored with 13 minutes remaining after a mistake from Foster.
That made it 18-12 but Gale’s drop-goal with five minutes remaining settled home nerves and Tom Olbison crashed over in the closing stages to confirm a famous victory.
FT: Bradford Bulls 25 London Broncos 12
TRY for the Bulls as Tom Olbison goes over from Foster's kick....!!!
75 mins... Luke Gale drop-goal has made it 19-12...
Anthony Mullally rightly named man of the match...
Drinkwater's conversion has made it 18-12 with 12 minutes remaining....
Drinkwater's conversion has made it 18-12 with 12 minutes remaining....
66 mins... TRY for James Cunningham, who capitalises on a mistake from Jamie Foster, who failed to deal with Scott Moore's kick...
Adam Henry goes close after some neat handling from the Bulls... still 18-6 with 14 minutes remaining...
Addy's try has sent confidence flooding through the Bulls and they are right on the front foot now...
63 mins... Matt Diskin knocks on with the line begging after a terrific run and pass from Tom Olbison... still 18-6...
Foster's conversion makes it 18-6 with 19 minutes remaining...
60 mins... TRY for the Bulls as Danny Addy powers under the posts from James Donaldson's fine pass..!!
London are enjoying all the pressure and indeed territory but they are struggling for last-tackle options... still 12-6...
47 mins... Manuokafoa off, replaced by Sidlow... still 12-6...
Second-half underway.... 12-6 to the Bulls...
Bulls lead 12-6 at the end of a compelling opening 40 minutes. London are dangerous.
38 mins... Scott Moore slips with the line beckoning... massive let-off for the Bulls... still 12-6...
George was held up and is now replaced by Elliot Kear...
36 mins... Luke George goes over in the right corner... but is injured in the process... try still not given... George being treated by physios...
Anthony Mullally having an absolute stormer today...
31 mins... Bulls forced to drop out after Drinkwater's clever grubber kick traps Luke Gale... still 12-6...
GREAT to hear the Bulls faithful in fine voice, getting behind Francis Cummins' side! Sing loud and proud, folks! #BELONG— @OfficialBullsRL 02 March 2014
Mullally running strong for the @OfficialBullsRL . Sidlow also over for a try. Nick Who?? ;)— @SuperLeaguePod 02 March 2014
Josh Drinkwater adds the extras to make it 12-6... Adam O'Brien on for Matt Diskin... 11 minutes to half-time...
TRY for London in the right corner as Thomas Minns touches down a kick...
Tom Olbison on for Adam Sidlow...
Mullally has been very good since his introduction... Foster's goal makes it 12-0....
TRY for the Bulls in the 25th minute as Adam Sidlow barrels over the line from close range...
Anthony Mullally with another marauding run...
23 mins... Anthony Mullally held up over the line...
Diskin, Gale, Kearney and Henry combine well to find Luke George in the right corner.. Bulls scrum 10 metres out…
21 mins... Gale's clever grubber kick is slightly overcooked and Jamie Foster cannot reach it...
20 mins... Anthony Mullally on for Manase Manuoakafoa... still 6-0 to the Bulls...
19 mins... Duckworth touches down a kick from Drinkwater in the left corner but he knocked on and no try is given...
Yet the Broncos now asking some searching questions of the Bublls' defence, Michael McMeeken almost goes over...
16 mins... London have now lost Mason Caton-Brown to injury, replaced by James Cunningham, Broncos effectively down to 15 men...
James Greenwood is also on to replace Nick Slyney...
Blow for London as Neisiasi Mataitonga is forced off through injury and replaced by George Griffin. Ben Farrar to full-back...
The try saw Matt Diskin, Danny Addy and Adrian Purtell combine to find Jamie Foster, whose superb inside pass sent Gale clear...
Foster converts to make it 6-0 after 11 minutes...
TRY as Luke Gale finishes off a stunning move involving five players....
It gives London the chance to build pressure on the Bulls' line but it comes to nothing... still 0-0...
08... Luke Gale drops the ball under no pressure...
07 mins... Luke George superbly fields a high bomb from Drinkwater... still scoreless.
Josh Drinkwater, London's debutant scrum-half, looks to have a strong kicking game... still 0-0... no real chances as yet.
Lively opening from both sides... still scoreless after four minutes...
Bulls attacking Rooley Lane End first half... we are underway...
Crowd is small but looking more respectable than earlier... kick-off moments away...
sad to report the atmosphere at Odsal is funereal. but Bulls team still look decent, while Broncos have Jack Duckworth at centre!— @andywiz 02 March 2014
We've established an alternative Odsal press box where it's warm, the wifi works, coffee's on tap and the view's not bad either! #SLBraLon— @Chrisirvine 02 March 2014
Interchange: Forster, Greenwood, Cunningham, Griffin
London Broncos: Mataitonga, Caton-Brown, Atkins, Minns, O'Callaghan, Farrar, Drinkwater, Krasniqi, Moore, Slyney, Cook, McKeeken, Foster
Interchange: Kear, Olbison, O'Brien, Mullally
Bulls team: Kearney, George, Henry, Purtell, Foster, Addy, Gale, Manuokafoa, Diskin, Sidlow, Walker, Bridge, Donaldson
Teams for today's game. http://t.co/4mvQI056Xo— @rosshtanda 02 March 2014
London Broncos fans out in force at Odsal! http://t.co/IHjfpbqzfC— @Mr_MotM 02 March 2014
50 mins to kick off, Odsal needs some fans - and quick! #rugbyleague http://t.co/1wgEThvrS9— @neilbarraclough 02 March 2014
“@bullman3474: Loud and proud! #together http://t.co/cnBf5iWoIt” #GYATO— @milliganwasagod 02 March 2014
I wonder if the rain or the dire situation the club is in will keep most folks away from Odsal today?— @Mr_MotM 02 March 2014
Odsal ready for action. Huge game for the Bulls. #bradfordbulls http://t.co/5BgVFxWVZI— @rosshtanda 02 March 2014
Game day👍— @dannyaddy32 02 March 2014
HOT off the press! Be sure to pick up a copy of the all-new matchday magazine this afternoon, for just £3. #BELONG http://t.co/L3C8j28I2B— @OfficialBullsRL 02 March 2014
To Odsal for @OfficialBullsRL v @LondonBroncosRL - one club sadly on life support and the other just off it #rugbyleague #SLBraLon— @Chrisirvine 02 March 2014
RT @biggsypop: @mikeplatty All on way to watch Bulls— @47bradford 02 March 2014
@47bradford thanks— @mikeplatty 02 March 2014
RT @jamiefoster22: Big game today....Must win. Claw these 6 points back ASAP then we can crack on. #Bulls #2014— @47bradford 02 March 2014
@Linz67Yates We all think the same but the club needs us fans more than ever now. #COYB— @47bradford 02 March 2014
RT @milliganwasagod: Boys pull on their kit facing uncertainty, let's face this together. It's game day It's Get a Your .rse To Odsal day! …— @47bradford 02 March 2014
It is a massive game as Francis Cummins' men take to the field in their first outing since being docked six points and losing Nick Scruton to Wakefield...
Good afternoon from the Provident Stadium for this afternoon's Super League round three clash between the Bulls and the London Broncos...