Impressive Bulls far too good for Rovers

James Lockwood scored Featherstone's solitary try. Picture: Bob Nunn.
James Lockwood scored Featherstone's solitary try. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Featherstone Rovers crashed to their first defeat of the season after being outplayed by impressive Bradford.

Lee Gaskell and Chris Ulugia each bagged two tries and Ryan Shaw landed six goals from seven kicks as the Bulls coasted to their first away victory by trouncing Rovers 40-4.

The Bulls were better in all departments than Featherstone, who were playing their first home fixture of 2015 at new-look Big Fellas Stadium in front of a crowd of 6,346.

Rovers coach Andy Hay said: “In our previous two games this season I thought we got away with a little bit of stuff we didn’t get away with today and that’s a big lesson for us to learn.”

Featherstone dominated possession for the first 20 minutes but were unable to make it count in the difficult conditions and they fell behind in the 18th minute when Jake Mullaney sent in Gaskell.

Shortly after Tongan prop Epalahame Lauki was brought on for his Bulls debut, they shot further ahead when Gaskell’s pass put in Adrian Purtell.

The Bulls got a third try shortly before half-time when Gaskell and Purtell made the opening for Ulugia’s first score to make it 18-0.

Any hopes Featherstone had of turning the game round quickly disappeared in the second-half when Bradford scored two tries in six minutes.

Dale Ferguson’s clever off-load put in Adam O’Brien before Jean-Philippe Baile crossed from Shaw’s pass.

Featherstone’s only reply came in the 50th minute when James Lockwood went over but they finished well beaten.

Rovers substitute Andy Bostock was sin-binned for a high tackle on O’Brien and the Bulls quickly made the most of the extra man when Gaskell grabbed a clever 60-yard individual try.

Ulugia scored his second as the Bulls ran out easy winners, with a forward pass denying Gaskell his hat-trick two minutes from time.

Bulls coach James Lowes said: “Our strong defence was the most pleasing aspect of the game.”

Featherstone Rovers: Hitchcox; Sharp, Chappell, Minns, Blackmore; Sykes, Irwin; Baldwinson, Ellis, Wood, Tonks, Foster, Bussey. Subs: Marginet, Bostock,

Lockwood, James.

Bradford Bulls: Shaw; Ulugia, Purtell, Baile, Uaisele; Gaskell, Mullaney; Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Walshaw, Pitts, Mellor. Subs: Lauaki, Tahraoui, Ferguson,


Referee: Matt Thomason (RFL).

Attendance: 6,346.