Thursday’s game is the biggest in Super League with nearly half a million people having attended this fixture during the Super League era.
Thursday's game is the biggest in Super League with nearly half a million people having attended this fixture during the Super League era and that is not including the two capacity Cup Finals at Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium plus three semi finals at McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield between 1996 and 1999. On six previous occasions the attendance for this fixture has exceeded 20,000 and no other fixture in Super League conjures up such excited between not just both sets of supporters but the game in general. The advent of Super League has coincided with a golden era for the Bulls and no more so than in the West Yorkshire derby. The two teams have met 22 times in the Super League regular season with Bradford victorious on 18 occasions, with the Rhinos having won twice at Odsal in 1998 and 2000 and twice at Headingley in 1999 and 2002. Two players are tied as the leading try scorer for Leeds against the Bulls in all competitions in the summer era. Francis Cummins has been caught up by Keith Senior in recent years however Chev Walker is in hot pursuit of both of them with five, Walker scored on his first ever appearance at Odsal in only his third appearance for the club. The Bulls include three former Leeds players in their Super League squad. Prop Richard Moore was part of the Rhinos Academy squad winning two championships in his time at Headingley before moving to Odsal. Another player to come through the ranks at Leeds was Paul Anderson, who joined Leeds from Redhill ARLFC in 1991. He made 25 appearances for Leeds including four starts before moving onto Halifax in 1993 and then subsequently Bradford. The last to move across to the Bulls was Karl Pratt who joined Leeds from Featherstone Rovers and scored 38 tries in 81 appearances. Karl was signed by Graham Murray in 1999, leaving Headingley at the end of the 2002 season. There are no former Bulls in the Leeds team although Liam Botham did have a trial at Bradford before deciding to join the Rhinos and Rhinos coach Tony Smith played his last ever game against Bradford at Odsal, the Bulls were coached that day by his older brother Brian. Super League record at Headingley 4/8/1996 Bulls won 56-18 Att: 10,505 Ref: Stuart Cummings 29/6/1997 Bulls won 32-16 Att: 19,137 Ref: Russell Smith 3/7/98 Bulls won 33-22 Att: 16,824 Ref: Stuart Cummings 18/6/99 Rhinos won 45-16 Att: 21,666 Ref: Russell Smith 19/5/00 Bulls won 44-2 Att: 18,769 Ref: Russell Smith 11/5/01 Bulls won 33-14 Att: 18,242 Ref: Stuart Cummings 11/8/01 Bulls won 34-6 Att: 13,712 Ref: Russell Smith 10/5/02 Rhinos won 28-20 Att: 18,305 Ref: Russell Smith 6/9/02 Bulls won 20-18 Att: 15,328 Ref: Karl Kirkpatrick 8/8/03 Bulls won 18-16 Att: 23.035 Ref: Karl Kirkpatrick Home: P.125 W.78 D.7 L.40 (62%) Away: P.131 W.60 D.4 L.67 (49%) Neutral: P.10 W.2 D.0 L.8 (20%) Total: P.266 W.140 D.11 L.115 (53%) Rhinos leading try scorer v Bulls Francis Cummins and Keith Senior 6 tries Rhinos leading points scorer v Bulls Iestyn Harris 124 points Bulls leading try scorer v Rhinos Robbie Paul 19 tries Bulls leading points scorer v Rhinos Henry Paul 125 points Highest Leeds score: at Headingley: 1931-32 Leeds won 75-18 away: 1970-71Leeds won 49-10 Highest Bradford score at Headingley: 1996 Bradford won 56-18 away: 2001 Bradford won 62-18