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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 22:55 GMT
Brilliant Bulls take world title
Joshua Smith dives over in the corner for Newcastle's first try
Smith dives over in the corner for Newcastle
Bradford 41-26 Newcastle

Super League champions Bradford Bulls tore apart Australian champions Newcastle Knights in the World Club Challenge.

The Bulls dealt with the windy and rainy conditions better that their southern hemisphere counterparts and ran in six tries.

James Lowes picked up the man of the match award after playing a starring role against Newcastle play-maker Andrew Johns.

Robbie Paul was at the heart of everything for Bradford in the first half, but even his departure just before the break could not halt the Bulls' stampede to victory.


They played better than us on the night
Newcastle captain
Andrew Johns
They went in at half-time 26-14 ahead and added two quick tries before Paul Deacon's boot kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Bulls and ensured the Knights ended well beaten.

After the match beaten Newcastle captain Andrew Johns, the man voted the world's best player for 2001, had no excuses.

"They were bad conditions, but they played it better than us and I'm quite disappointed with our performance," he said.

"We can't blame the conditions or jetlag. They played better than us on the night."

Bradford coach Brian Noble said: "I am very proud of the players. We set ourselves a goal that we would like to do well in this game and we did.

"As the first half went on we began to look really strong but you cannot afford to clock off against them. They have many talented players.

'Room for improvement

"I think on the night we were the better team and we bashed them. We proved we can compete at the highest level.

"Newcastle tested us at times but I think we can get better. There are a lot of areas for improvement."

Bradford got off to a flyer when the outstanding Paul twisted over for a try after a minute.

However, it looked as though NRL champions Newcastle were going to be a serious threat when they immediately hit back through a Josh Smith try.

Well beaten

Daniel Gartner and Matt Gidley then exchanged tries, and the two sides were level at 14-14 midway though the first half.

Paul then sparked the Bulls into action, setting up a try for Michael Withers and scoring one himself, and Bradford went in with a 12-point lead at the break.

The Yorkshire side added two more tries in the first 10 minutes of the second half through Michael Withers and Lesley Vainikolo to stamp their authority on the match.

Newcastle did manage further tries through Johns, who had a fine match in a well-beaten side, and Danny Buderus, but Deacon kept the scoreboard moving for the Bulls.

He missed only one shot at goal all night as Bradford showed the world of rugby league that the British game can compete with the best from down under.


Bradford: Withers, Vaikona, Naylor, Gilmour, Vainikolo, Paul, Deacon, Vagana, Lowes, McDermott, Gartner, Peacock, Forshaw. Replacements: Anderson, Pryce, Fielden, Costin.

Newcastle: O'Davis, Smith, M. Gidley, Hughes, K. Gidley, Rudder, Johns, Parsons, Buderus, Perry, Abraham, Simpson, Peden. Replacements: O'Brien, Newton, Morris, Jobson.

Referee: Stuart Cummings (Widnes)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
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"
Links to more Rugby League stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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