Doncaster RLFC 38 Bradford Bulls 56: Spirited display despite 10th defeat for Dons

Will Foden in Dons' spirited display against Bradford. Photo: Lizzi Lathrop
Will Foden in Dons' spirited display against Bradford. Photo: Lizzi Lathrop

The Dons’ longest run without a win in recent years continued with a tenth successive Championship defeat at the hands of Bradford Bulls at the Keepmoat Stadium.

But it surely is only a matter of time before the Dons taste that elusive first victory on the evidence of this spirited display against the second-placed Bulls.

It was always going to be a massive ask to end their unbeaten run against the relegated Super League side and so it proved.

But the fact that they scored seven tries will have given the players a huge confidence boost.

Equally the fact that they conceded ten underlines that more work still needs to be done in that aspect of their game.

The new half-back pairing of Ben Reynolds and Jordan Abdull showed a lot of promise and Australian prop Matt Groat made a big impact on his debut.

Bulls grabbed an early lead when winger Etu Uaisele crossed for an unconverted try.

Former England winger Peter Fox marked his home debut by crashing over in the corner following a strong break by second-rower Steve Snitch.

Bulls opened up a 16-4 lead with a brace of converted tries by when influential stand-off Lee Gaskill.

The Dons hauled themselves back into the game on 20 minutes, prop Mitch Clark crossing from close range for a second converted try.

But a brace of tries by second-rower Dale Ferguson saw Bulls charge into a 28-10 lead.

Snitch helped cut the deficit when breaking the line just inside the Bradford 20 and touching down near enough for Dave Scott to add the extras.

Bulls replied with a try by Adam Henry and a Ryan Shaw penalty to lead 34-16 at the break.

Centre Pas Dunn touched down shortly after the restart after Shaw had fumbled a high kick.

They were in again on 47 minutes, Groat pushing off a defender to score to close the gap to 34-26.

Full-back Scott pulled off a try-saving tackle on Tom Olbison but it only proved a stay of execution with Uaisele touching down wide out from a long pass.

Bulls extended their lead to 50-26 with Gaskill’s hat-trick try.

Fox touched down for his second try – arguably the best of the game – after a superb handling move from right to left.

Mike Kelly touched down from Abdull’s grubber kick and winger Sam Doherty was bundled into touch just short of the line at time when Bradford looked to be rocking.

Dons: Scott; Doherty, Welham, Dunn, Fox; Abdull, Reynolds; Tyson-Wilson, Kesik, Spiers, Snitch, Turget, Emmett. Subs: Kelly, Clark, Nicklas, Groat.

Bulls: Shaw; Uaisele, Walker, Baile,Henry; Gaskell, Addy; Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow,Olbison, Ferguson, Pitts. Subs:Fleming, Mellor, Halafihi, Crossley.

Referee: C Kendall

Attendance: 2,276