Challenge Cup: Rochdale Hornets 10-70 Bradford Bulls

Elliott Whitehead

Rochdale (6) 10

Sutton, Cookson

Bradford (30) 70

Wood, Langley, Gale 2, Walker, Sammut 2, Bateman, Whitehead 3, Platt
Foster 2, Sammut 9

Elliott Whitehead's second-half hat-trick ensured Bradford's Challenge Cup progress with a 12-try win against Championship One side Rochdale.

Francis Cummins' side were ahead 30-6 at the break thanks to tries from Samuel Wood, Jamie Langley, Luke Gale, Chev Walker and Jarrod Sammut.

Gale and Sammut scored again after the break, as did John Bateman and Michael Platt as the Bulls recorded 70 points.

Dave Sutton and John Cookson crossed for Rochdale's two scores.

Paul Crook kicked the one goal for the Hornets, while for Bradford the boot of Jamie Foster - who was brought through the Saints academy by Rochdale coach Ian Talbot - kicked two goals and Sammut added to his try brace with nine conversions.

Cummins handed debuts to loan forward Ben Evans and young winger Sam Wood, with the latter scoring the first try on three minutes from Adrian Purtell's pass after Sammut's kick was fumbled.

Langley took an inside ball from Gale to score from close range, and the half-back went through himself before supplying Walker for his score.

Sutton finished off Crook's kick to reward Rochdale's effort, but Sammut's score before the break established a 24-point lead at the hooter.

There was no let up from the Bulls when the teams re-emerged, as first Gale stepped over from close range, and then Sammut's pass put Bateman over.

Whitehead scored twice from the work of centre Purtell and hooker Heath L'Estrange respectively, while the Hornets gave their support something to cheer when Cookson went in after Chris Hough was held up.

Bulls eventually ground down the hosts' resistance with three late scores, which saw Sammut run 60 metres for his second before Whitehead and Platt completed the rout.


Rochdale coach Ian Talbot:

"It was a great effort. The scoreline was a bit of a blow-out, and it doesn't help when they kick all their goals - they only missed one, right at the end.

"I thought the scoreline didn't reflect the effort and hard work that the lads put in.

"We tried to play some football - we didn't want to shut up shop and wanted to stick to our principles.

"We threw the ball about as much as we could, but the gulf in class between Super League and Championship One was on show."

Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins:

"Rochdale showed a lot of spirit, and we weren't far away. Last week we lost our way a little bit but we were better this week.

"Our skill let us down for a few tries, but I was happy to see Ben Evans and Sam Wood out there, and both made their debuts and did well.

"We'll see what the next round bring us, I'm happy to be in it. We'd rather have an easier draw, but if you're going to win it you have to beat the best teams."


Rochdale: English; Langley, Davies, Hull, Sutton; Crook, Roper; J. Cookson, Hough, Thompson, Baines, Trumper, Llewellyn.

Replacements: McClurg, Frodsham, Stewart, Goodman.

Bradford: Foster; Wood, Purtell, Lulia, Platt; Sammut, Gale; Manuokafoa, L'Estrange, Langley, Addy, Whitehead, Walker.

Replacements: Sidlow, Evans, O'Brien, Bateman.

Referee: R Hicks (RFL)

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