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Bradford Bulls heavily beaten in opener
Bradford Bulls 12 Catalan Dragons 34 The Bulls slipped to a humiliating opening-day defeat at the hands of Catalan Dragons at Odsal in this afternoon's Super League opener.
Mick Potter's new-look side found themselves 20-0 behind at the break after the defensive frailties which undermined them so often last season were again exposed.
They trailed inside the sixth minute when Dragons loose forward Jason Baitieri collected a pass from Setaimata Sa to cross the line from close range.
Scott Dureau, a pivotal figure at scrum-half for Catalan all afternoon, added the extras and continued to pull the strings.
The Bulls were dealt a blow when John Bateman picked up an injury as he contested a high ball and was helped off the field in the 17th minute.
Midway through the opening period, former Bulls hooker Ian Henderson produced a fine break down the middle and sent Clint Greenshields clear from 20 metres out.
It got worse for Bradford in the 30th minute when Thomas Bosc took a clever pass from Dureau to power clear and Dureau again added the extras.
The Bulls fashioned only one meaningful opening inside the first half but Jarrod Sammut failed to control the ball when just yards short of the line.
Dureau added a penalty on the stroke of half-time and three minutes after the restart Sa dummied his way past Ian Sibbit to cross in the right corner.
Dureau's conversion attempt rebounded off a post but in the 55th minute – after the Bulls had enjoyed a period of sustained pressure which they could not make pay – Catalan struck again.
Dureau chipped a delightful kick into the right corner and Daryl Millard touched down, and Dureau's conversion made it an afternoon to remember for ex-Bulls stars Henderson and Steve Menzies.
The Bulls replied in the 64th minute when Jamie Langley touched down in the right corner, which Luke Gale converted, but Sebastien Raguin crossed in the left corner for a sixth with four minutes remaining.
Elliot Kear plunged over in the last minute and Gale added his second goal but the game was long since finished as a serious contest.
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