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Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 22:08 UK

Leeds 33-20 Bradford

Leeds (16) 33
Tries: Hall (2), Jones-Buchanan, Burrow, Donald Goals: Sinfield 6 Drop-goals: Smith

Bradford (8) 20
Tries: Tadulala, Deacon, Menzies Goals: Deacon 4

Leeds forward Jamie Peacock
Leeds had to dig deep to overcome their local rivals

Leeds kept up the pressure at the top of the Super League table as they edged out Bradford in a thrilling derby.

The Rhinos raced into a commanding 16-2 lead after two tries from Ryan Hall and another from Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Bradford fought back from the dead to claim the lead thanks to Semi Tadulala, Paul Deacon and Steve Menzies scores.

But the defending champions found an extra gear late on, and a brilliant Rob Burrow try and a late Scott Donald effort secured the victory.

The result gives Leeds revenge for the 10-6 defeat by the Bulls at Odsal in April.

But they came close to suffering a second defeat at the hands of their local rivals after allowing the Bulls to work their way back into the game from a seemingly hopeless position.

It was the Bulls who drew first blood via a Deacon penalty but Leeds hit back in style as Keith Senior powered forward and fed Hall, who crossed to score before full-back Brent Webb burst through a gap and the supporting Senior again set up Hall out wide.


Soon after, Burrow won a drop-out after a kick between the posts and then put Jones-Buchanan through to score from the resulting possession with a brilliant delayed pass.

Kevin Sinfield's kicking was spot on, and following his second successful conversion the Rhinos led 16-2.

It was at this point the Bulls fightback began, as Tadulala was allowed to run unchecked parallel to the line and eventually found a gap to score on the right with Deacon adding the conversion.

After an early spell of Leeds pressure in the second half, Bradford dragged themselves back into contention when Deacon crossed before converting the try himself.

When Menzies crossed soon after following a switch of play after a Dave Halley drive for the line, which Deacon again converted, the Bulls held a two-point lead and sensed a win in the offing.

However, a Sinfield penalty levelled the scores and then Burrow deftly beat Michael Worrincy on the right and powered inside to beat the dive of Halley and score by the posts and put the home side back into the ascendancy.

Sinfield added the extras but then hit the upright and missed the target with drop-goal attempts as he looked to make the game safe.

His third effort was charged down but Smith quickly gathered and drop-kicked a goal himself.

That broke the Bulls' spirits and Donald charged clear at the end to add a fifth Leeds try.

Leeds coach Brian McClennan:
"We got a good start but then Bradford came back really well.

"They got a bit of ball and were very good with it, attacking our line. They played well, it was a derby match and they really got up for it.

"We were really strong in the first 10 and to come back from that was good. I think Bradford did a pretty good job."

Bradford coach Steve McNamara:
"We gave ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb but for large parts I thought we were the better side.

"It's a cruel sport. I don't think we got what we deserved tonight.

"There was some great effort from a lot of players but I am really disappointed we have not won."

Leeds: Webb, Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield.
Replacements: Lauitiiti, Burgess, Gibson, Bailey.

Bradford: Halley, Sheriffe, Sykes, Nero, Tadulala, Jeffries, Deacon, Lynch, Newton, Scruton, Menzies, Langley, Burgess.
Replacements: Worrincy, Cook, Kopczak, Whitehead.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington)

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see also
Harlequins 14-48 Leeds
20 Jun 09 |  Rugby League
Bradford 18-44 St Helens
21 Jun 09 |  Rugby League

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