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Crusaders 44-20 Bradford

Crusaders (20) 44
Tries: Thomas, Mellars, Hauraki 2, Martin, Youngquest, Withers Goals: Schifcofske 8

Bradford (10) 20
Tries: Nero, Halley, Worrincy, Whitehead Goals: Sykes 2

Clinton Schifcofske
Schifcofske produced a faultless display with the boot for Crusaders

Crusaders put memories of last weekend's defeat by Harlequins behind them to record a convincing victory over Bradford at the Racecourse Ground.

First-half tries for Crusaders by Gareth Thomas, Vince Mellars and Weller Hauraki were answered by Chris Nero and Dave Halley for the Bulls.

Michael Worrincy and Elliott Whitehead crossed for Bradford after the break.

But further scores from Hauraki, Tony Martin, Nick Youngquest and Lincoln Withers ensured victory for the hosts.

It was the third time in four meetings that the Crusaders have beaten the Bulls, having previously run out 19-0 winners at the Murrayfield Magic weekend.

Thomas got them off to a great start when he finished off a fine move involving Mark Bryant and Martin.

Mellars then made the most of a two-man overlap and Rhys Hanbury put in Hauraki under the posts to put Crusaders in apparent control.

But the Bulls burst into life as Nero went in at the corner before Halley touched down under the posts, with the conversion closing the gap to eight points.

A Clinton Schifcofske penalty stretched the home side's advantage back to 10 points before the break, and it stayed that way as Worrincy and Martin exchanged tries.

Bradford piled on the pressure, but Crusaders survived and took their chance when Hauraki crashed over for his second and Hanbury put Youngquest in near the posts.

Withers then crashed over to seal Crusaders' first double over a Super League side, meaning Whitehead's late score for the Bulls was little more than consolation.

Crusaders head coach Brian Noble:
"I'm really pleased for the players. We have not been in the winner's enclosure for three or four weeks now so it just reinforces the belief and confidence in the side.

"It was also about reinforcing the things that made us successful at the start of the year. We went back to some of the small things today."

Bradford assistant coach Lee St Hilaire:
"I thought we were in the game in the first-half but we started slow and they started fairly quick.

"From that period then (when Crusaders were 18-0 up), we finished the better and stronger side.

"We had a fair amount of the ball but we were slightly off on our execution. It was just about some of the players putting the ball over the line which is what we practised all week.

"We were missing some key personnel and, if we had had them, we may have got four more tries."

Crusaders RL: Schifcofske, Thomas, Martin, Mellars, Youngquest, Lupton, Hanbury, O'Hara, Withers, Bryant, Hauraki, Chan, Winternstein.
Replacements: Dyer, Peek, Flower, James.

Bradford: Halley, Sheriffe, Wardle, Nero, Reardon, Sykes, Kearney, Scruton, L'Estrange, Hall, Worrincy, Whitehead, Menzies.
Replacements: Addy, Kopczak, Crossley, Godwin.

Attendance: 2,979

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).

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see also
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League
Harlequins RL 50-22 Crusaders
06 Jun 10 |  My Club
Bradford 6-52 Huddersfield
06 Jun 10 |  My Club

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