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Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 08:12 GMT
Bulls' display earns plaudits
Michael Withers
Michael Withers touches down for another Bradford try
Bradford Bulls were paid the ultimate compliment after turning on the power to demolish Newcastle Knights in the World Club Challenge.

The Bulls destroyed the cream of Australian club rugby with an attacking display that thrilled a 21,113 crowd at Huddersfield's McAlpine Stadium.

It was the same conditions for both teams- we dropped balls with no pressure on us, which was disappointing
Knights skipper Andrew Johns
And, in emulating St Helens' against-the-odds victory over Brisbane Broncos 12 months earlier, the Super League champions provided another shot in the arm of the British game.

Their 41-26 victory means they are the sixth English winners out of eight World Club Challenges.

"The English game is as strong as the NRL," said Newcastle captain Andrew Johns, whose 14-point tally from two tries and three goals merely added respectability to the scoreboard.

"That was showed last year when St Helens beat the Broncos. Bradford didn't beat us, they towelled us.


"They're a very good team. For sure they would go well in the NRL.

"We won it last year and they beat us pretty well. They'd go real well."

Newcastle, without five of their Grand Final-winning team, looked naturally rusty on their first outing for four months and never came to terms with the persistent rain that made handling difficult.

Newcastle's Robbie O'Davis comes under pressure in the game at Huddersfield's McAlpine Stadium.
The Bulls kept the Knights under pressure
Bradford coach Brian Noble conceded that conditions had favoured his side.

"We talked about it all week," he said. "We knew, with one eye on the weather, that if our technique was good we could force some errors.

"It was part of our game plan to get in their faces and hit underneath the ball."

Handling errors from both sides led directly to a spate of early tries but Bradford gradually adjusted their game to the conditions.

Johns, generous in defeat, was not about to make excuses, though. "They were just too good for us," he admitted.

"It was the same conditions for both teams. We dropped balls with no pressure on us, which was disappointing."

Man-of-the-match James Lowes said: "It wasn't easy by a long shot but we took our chances.

"Obviously we've played in these conditions for years and that helped us adapt a lot quicker.

"It's tremendous to be world club champions. At club level, it doesn't get any better than this."

BBC Sport's Dave Oates reports
"The Bulls were never behind."
Bradford coach Brian Noble
"In those types of conditions it isn't always pretty"
Bradford hooker Jimmy Lowes
"We just had a little bit more on the night"
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