Super League: Leeds Rhinos 14-20 Bradford Bulls

Lee Gaskell
Gaskell has scored both of his Super League tries this term against Leeds
Leeds Rhinos (4) 14
Tries: Achurch, Delaney, L. Briscoe Goals: Hardaker
Bradford Bulls (4) 20
Tries: Williams, Gale, Gaskell Goals: Gale 4

Lee Gaskell scored a late try to help relegated Bradford Bulls to a memorable West Yorkshire derby victory against Super League high-flyers Leeds Rhinos.

Danny Williams ran in the Bulls' first points before Mitch Achurch responded to make it 4-4 at the break.

Bradford's Luke Gale and Leeds' Brett Delaney then traded converted tries.

A Gale penalty edged the visitors ahead again only for Luke Briscoe to grab a Rhinos try before Gaskell's score and Gale's fourth goal sealed victory.

For the second successive week Bradford caused a major shock, having stunned Wigan just seven days after they were condemned to life in the Championship by defeat at Huddersfield.

But Leeds remain third, two points behind leaders St Helens after they were beaten at Hull FC.

Gale orchestrated the opening try with a break before finding on-loan winger Williams with a kick to the corner after Tom Briscoe lost control of the ball.

Leeds level again
Leeds were level at half-time for the fourth successive match having previously been locked at 0-0 v Hull KR (11 July), 18-18 v Castleford Tigers (17 July) and 12-12 v Salford Red Devils (25 July).

Rhinos forward Achurch restored parity from close range, evading Joe Arundel on 14 minutes, and the hosts looked to be in again when Josh Walters raced away after collecting the ball inside his own 20.

Elliot Kear and Adam Sidlow combined to bring Walters down, with Sidlow then sin-binned for preventing a quick play of the ball.

However, Leeds failed to take advantage and were forced to reshuffle after Ben Jones-Bishop left the field with an apparent knee injury.

Both sides profited from errors in a tense second half.

Tom Briscoe spilled a kick, allowing Gale to tap ahead and touch down, and Delaney picked up a loose ball close to the Bulls line after Zak Hardaker's pass had gone to ground.

Gale opted to tee up a kick from right in front of the posts to edge Bradford ahead once again after Leeds were penalised for holding down.

Brian McDermott's Rhinos took the lead for the first and only time through Briscoe's try with six minutes remaining but Gaskell stepped his way to the line to give Bradford their first win over the Rhinos in six attempts.

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott:

"We lost a ridiculous amount of ball.

"We got a bit bloody-minded in the second half and we just needed to calm down a bit.

"I've got no qualms with the nature of the loss, it's just how we played. The amount of possession we lost made it almost impossible for us to win the game."

Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes:

"I'm made up for the boys. It's good to walk into the dressing room again and see them smile.

"It's a great feeling when you win and when you play well, so I'm overjoyed.

"I thought it was an evenly-matched game. Both sides created very good chances and scrambled so well defensively. They chased lost causes down and that makes a big difference in the game.

"I couldn't have had a complaint if the game had gone either way, it was that evenly balanced."

Friday's line-ups

Leeds: Hardaker; T Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Walters, Jones-Bishop; McGuire, Burrow; Leuluai, Aiton, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Achurch, Delaney.

Replacements: Minchella, R Ward, Kirke, L Briscoe.

Bradford: Kear; Blythe, Henry, Arundel, Williams; Gaskell, Gale; Manuokafoa, O'Brien, Fakir, Olbison, Pitts, Donaldson.

Replacements: Sidlow, Addy, Mellor, Ferguson.

Attendance: 16,009

Referee: Tim Roby (RFL)

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