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Bradford Bulls 18 Leeds Rhinos 10

Widnes. Widnes Vikings v Leeds Rhinos in the U19s Academy game at the Halton Stadium on Saturday 17th February 2018. Leeds Rhinos Tyler Dupree during the Widnes Vikings v Leeds Rhinos in the U19s Academy game. MANDATORY CREDIT: SteJones/RLPIX.COM For editorial use only. Copyright remains property of rlpix.com

The Rhinos youngsters were left frustrated on Thursday night when they were unable to claim victory over a dogged Bradford side meaning Leeds missed the chance to go top of the table.

The Rhinos’ defeat was grounded in their poor first half performance as the Rhinos failed to continue their momentum from their 68-8 victory in Hull last week.

The first 20 minutes were a relatively even affair with both sides conjuring up chances; for the Bulls Murphy Smith was released down their right flank but great cover defence from the likes of Markland snuffed out the chance. The Rhinos major chance of the first quarter was orchestrated by the superb running of Spence and a brilliant offload from Trout but the Bradford defenders ensured Markland couldn’t capitalise.

Eventually, Leeds became unable to match an enthusiastic Bradford side due to their ill-discipline as they gave away 6 penalties in the first half. It would be these penalties that granted the Bulls the possession and territory to take control of the contest and they would get the first try of a pulsating first half when Rowan Milnes – who had been the Rhinos’ chief tormentor so far – placed a perfect kick to the left-hand side that was palmed down by Butterworth for Sam Smith to score in the corner. Stephenson failed to add the conversion but the Bulls had the momentum and it wouldn’t take them long to double their advantage. The chance would come after Corey Johnson’s forward pass and his opposite number would reap the reward. After the Bradford forwards had brought them close to the Rhinos line, Doyle darted over for a typical hooker’s try. Again, Stephenson was unable to convert as his kick went just wide.

Leeds would invite more pressure on themselves when Whitton’s kick off went out on the full and the Bulls capitalised when Doyle forced his way over for a superb second after Milnes’ brilliant run. This time Stephenson converted granting the Bulls a 14-0 lead at halftime leaving the Rhinos with lots to fix in the second period.

The young Rhinos clawed their way back into the game at the start of the second half. They built pressure on the back of outstanding forward play and some potent attacks down the right and eventually their pressure would count as two substitutes combined to score when Jowitt’s pin-point kick was palmed down for Jordan Russell to cross in the corner following probing runs from Spence and Newman. Spence couldn’t add the conversion but Leeds were back in the contest at 14-4 and now had the momentum.

Leeds would soon make it back to back tries after Jowitt’s high bomb was dropped by Smith and from the following scrum Tyler Dupree forced his way over by turning and twisting his way out of numerous Bradford defenders to go over next to the posts. Spence simply converted and Leeds continued to dominate the second half. It seemed that they would make it three tries in succession when Spence’s perfect ball looked to put Trout through a gap but the ball was dropped and the chance was gone. However, Leeds continued to press and dominate and they thought they had equalised when Jowitt’s kick again resulted in Russell scoring but the try was controversially disallowed for offside after some confusion amongst the officials.

That decision would prove crucial because moments later Milnes perfectly placed kick was taken by Butterworth who then placed the ball down for his 19th try of the season giving the Bulls an 18-10 lead at a crucial point in the contest. Stephenson couldn’t add the conversion but the Bulls now controlled the contest with Leeds running out of time and needing two tries to steal a win.

For the rest of the game the Rhinos valiantly attacked looking to complete yet another famous comeback victory. They went close when Broadbent made a half break down the right wing and again when Spence’s well-placed grubber kick nearly saw Broadbent ground the ball for a try only for it to run dead. These would be the last chances for Leeds as time ran out for Rob Burrow’s side as Bradford held on with brilliant defence and game management to completed a famous victory over their Yorkshire rivals whilst the Rhinos were left to rue their missed chances and their ill-discipline that was ultimately their undoing.

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Bradford Bulls 18 Leeds Rhinos 10

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Bradford Bulls 18 Leeds Rhinos 10

Widnes. Widnes Vikings v Leeds Rhinos in the U19s Academy game at the Halton Stadium on Saturday 17th February 2018. Leeds Rhinos Tyler Dupree during the Widnes Vikings v Leeds Rhinos in the U19s Academy game. MANDATORY CREDIT: SteJones/RLPIX.COM For editorial use only. Copyright remains property of rlpix.com

The Rhinos youngsters were left frustrated on Thursday night when they were unable to claim victory over a dogged Bradford side meaning Leeds missed the chance to go top of the table.

The Rhinos’ defeat was grounded in their poor first half performance as the Rhinos failed to continue their momentum from their 68-8 victory in Hull last week.

The first 20 minutes were a relatively even affair with both sides conjuring up chances; for the Bulls Murphy Smith was released down their right flank but great cover defence from the likes of Markland snuffed out the chance. The Rhinos major chance of the first quarter was orchestrated by the superb running of Spence and a brilliant offload from Trout but the Bradford defenders ensured Markland couldn’t capitalise.

Eventually, Leeds became unable to match an enthusiastic Bradford side due to their ill-discipline as they gave away 6 penalties in the first half. It would be these penalties that granted the Bulls the possession and territory to take control of the contest and they would get the first try of a pulsating first half when Rowan Milnes – who had been the Rhinos’ chief tormentor so far – placed a perfect kick to the left-hand side that was palmed down by Butterworth for Sam Smith to score in the corner. Stephenson failed to add the conversion but the Bulls had the momentum and it wouldn’t take them long to double their advantage. The chance would come after Corey Johnson’s forward pass and his opposite number would reap the reward. After the Bradford forwards had brought them close to the Rhinos line, Doyle darted over for a typical hooker’s try. Again, Stephenson was unable to convert as his kick went just wide.

Leeds would invite more pressure on themselves when Whitton’s kick off went out on the full and the Bulls capitalised when Doyle forced his way over for a superb second after Milnes’ brilliant run. This time Stephenson converted granting the Bulls a 14-0 lead at halftime leaving the Rhinos with lots to fix in the second period.

The young Rhinos clawed their way back into the game at the start of the second half. They built pressure on the back of outstanding forward play and some potent attacks down the right and eventually their pressure would count as two substitutes combined to score when Jowitt’s pin-point kick was palmed down for Jordan Russell to cross in the corner following probing runs from Spence and Newman. Spence couldn’t add the conversion but Leeds were back in the contest at 14-4 and now had the momentum.

Leeds would soon make it back to back tries after Jowitt’s high bomb was dropped by Smith and from the following scrum Tyler Dupree forced his way over by turning and twisting his way out of numerous Bradford defenders to go over next to the posts. Spence simply converted and Leeds continued to dominate the second half. It seemed that they would make it three tries in succession when Spence’s perfect ball looked to put Trout through a gap but the ball was dropped and the chance was gone. However, Leeds continued to press and dominate and they thought they had equalised when Jowitt’s kick again resulted in Russell scoring but the try was controversially disallowed for offside after some confusion amongst the officials.

That decision would prove crucial because moments later Milnes perfectly placed kick was taken by Butterworth who then placed the ball down for his 19th try of the season giving the Bulls an 18-10 lead at a crucial point in the contest. Stephenson couldn’t add the conversion but the Bulls now controlled the contest with Leeds running out of time and needing two tries to steal a win.

For the rest of the game the Rhinos valiantly attacked looking to complete yet another famous comeback victory. They went close when Broadbent made a half break down the right wing and again when Spence’s well-placed grubber kick nearly saw Broadbent ground the ball for a try only for it to run dead. These would be the last chances for Leeds as time ran out for Rob Burrow’s side as Bradford held on with brilliant defence and game management to completed a famous victory over their Yorkshire rivals whilst the Rhinos were left to rue their missed chances and their ill-discipline that was ultimately their undoing.