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Bradford Bulls v Sheffield Eagles

Sunday 9th April 2017, 15:00pm

Championship - Round: 9

Stats over last 8 encounters









Bradford Bulls welcome Sheffield Eagles to the Provident Stadium on Sunday as the West Yorkshire side look to get back on track after losing to Oldham last weekend.

A last minute Kieran Gill try downed the Bulls while Sheffield won their second match in a row as they defeated London Broncos at the Beaumont Legal Stadium.

The half-back partnership of Elliot Minchella and Simon Brown led the Eagles to a great victory, with the former scoring two tries and the latter performing exceptionally well with the boot.

Last Time Out

Bradford Bulls suffered an agonising 26-22 loss against Oldham at Bower Fold on Sunday, with a late try from Kieran Gill separating the two teams.

The Bulls were 14-12 up at half-time following tries from Lee Smith, James Bentley and Ethan Ryan. Adam Neal and Danny Langtree both crossed the whitewash for the hosts as the sides were well matched during the first half.

Joe Keyes furthered Bradford’s lead with a try in the final quarter but the Roughyeds, who were two scores down, fought back to overturn the deficit.

Tuoyo Egodo cut Bradford’s lead to two points before Scott Leatherbarrow kicked a penalty to level matters.

Bulls half-back Jordan Lilley edged his team back in front with a penalty of his own but there was one last twist in the tale, unfortunately for the visitors.

Egodo made a break after a punt forward from Bradford and Gill was in support, sidestepping his way to the match-winning try.

Sheffield Eagles beat London Broncos 32-20 to register their third win of the Championship season as their return to form continued.

Despite conceding first thanks to Jay Pitts, Sheffield put their foot on the gas and led 20-4 at the interval. Elliot Minchella bagged two tries before Garry Lo touched down following a superb flick pass from Menzie Yere.

Simon Brown kicked a penalty fro the hosts, who were in control heading into the second half. It didn’t take long for Yere to get himself on the scoresheet after the restart.

He fended the challenge of Kieron Dixon while strolling to four points. Brown’s great kicking display continued with another conversion but the Broncos soon responded with three tries in quick succession.

Ben Evans, Dixon and Elliot Kear all crossed for the capital club who were back in the game at 26-20.

But, to the disappointment of Andrew Henderson’s men, the Eagles shaped up in defence and didn’t leak any more points while they improved their own tally through Duane Straugheir at the other end. 

Decent signs for Sheffield, even though they have had to grind out two wins in as many weeks after being in a comfortable position in both ties.

Key Battle

The battle of the back-row forwards will be a good one at the weekend, with both sides having a competent pack to choose from. Colton Roche, James Bentley and Brandan Wilkinson were the starting back-rowers for the Bulls against Oldham.

Bentley got on the scoresheet while the highly-rated Josh Jordan-Roberts came off the bench. All three starters have scored tries in the Championship this season and this should make Sheffield wary of the ability they possess.

Kevin Larroyer was a big miss for the Bulls and his experience will always help in a side which features a number of youngsters. The Eagles go into Sunday’s game with newfound confidence and they also have solid forwards in their ranks.

Duane Straugheir and Matt James will be key for Mark Aston’s side. Both of them started against London, with Straugheir crossing the whitewash and James’ strong running helping the Eagles gain good field position.

Will Hope was the loose forward and was instrumental in Elliot Minchella’s second try. On the bench, Aston had good options to choose from with Kyle Trout, Sam Scott and Liam Johnson all established back-rowers.