Crookes helps Bulls steal win
Bradford shoot down Robins in Super League thriller
By Rob Lancaster - follow me on Twitter @SkySportsLanny. Last Updated: 10/03/12 7:50pm
Brett Kearney: scored the try that dragged the Bulls back on level terms
Bradford produced a stunning second-half fightback, scoring the small matter of 28 points without reply, to stun Hull KR 36-24 at Craven Park.
Jason Crookes grabbed a hat-trick of tries as the injury-hit Bulls, who saw Nick Scruton and Jamie Langley join their already lengthy casualty list, rallied from 24-8 down and make it three wins from three on the road this season.
All this came after they had suffered a quite shocking start to proceedings, conceding two tries before they'd barely laid a finger on the ball.
Looking to maintain their unbeaten record at home, Rovers forced an immediate drop out and from the next set Michael Dobson put in a grubber kick that allowed Kris Welham to open the scoring after just three minutes.
Things went bad to worse for Mick Potter's troops when they were split down the middle almost immediately, forcing full-back Brett Kearney to cynically take out opposite number Shannon McDonnell to stop him scoring.
The blatant penalty put Rovers in striking distance again, Mickey Paea accepting Lincoln Withers' clever pass back against the grain before carrying Jamie Langley on his back as he plunged over.
Dobson landed both conversions to make it 12-0 after six minutes, suggesting it could be a long evening for Bradford.
Yet the visitors showed tremendous resolve to respond; Kearney didn't quite have enough gas to break free from Josh Hodgson after pinching possession near his own line, though the Bulls calmly worked the ball out wide two plays later for Crookes to acrobatically finish in the left corner.
A simple run-in for Karl Pryce, making his first appearance for Bradford in over five years, on the opposite side of the field put them within four, only for Rovers to catch their opponents cold either side of the half-time hooter.
Some mesmerising footwork from Dobson set up Hodgson before the break and then almost immediately after the re-start Craig Hall marked his 100th career appearance with a simple run-in from Welham's inside pass.
Dobson continued his perfect record with the boot, giving the Robins a seemingly unassailable 16-point cushion. Instead, however, it just marked the start of a sensational recovery that Lazarus himself would have been proud of.
Crookes bulldozed his way over from dummy-half before producing a superb kick back inside with his left foot that Matt Diskin seized in front of Rhys Lovegrove, putting his side back within a try of their hosts.
It took them all of two minutes to get it, Elliot Whitehead's break setting up the supporting Kearney for a straightforward finish that levelled the scores.
Jarrod Sammut landed the extras to give Bradford their first lead after 66 minutes and although Chev Walker was denied a try against his former employers by the video referee, there was no reason for the official to chalk off Crookes' third in the left corner in the closing minutes.
There was still time for further points from the now rampaging Bulls, Keith Lulia sealing a quite remarkable result when he touched down on the same flank. Perhaps Potter should ask if his team can play on the road every week.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves