Brave Bulls denied by Briscoe
Fifth successive win for in-form Black and Whites
Last Updated: 30/03/12 10:17pm
Tom Briscoe's try with 10 minutes left proved decisive as Hull found just enough to beat embattled Bradford 24-18.
With the four-time Super League champions beset by financial problems, their players showed plenty of pride against the in-form Black and Whites.
A memorable John Bateman try had levelled the scores at 18-18 with 14 minutes left, but Hull stole ahead through Briscoe before Danny Tickle landed a late penalty.
It meant the Black and Whites claimed a fifth successive win, built on a Richard Horne double to overcome an otherwise weak forward display.
Hull were without forward duo Mark O'Meley and Sam Moa, who returned to Australia this week on compassionate grounds, leaving coach Peter Gentle to hand debuts to duo Liam Kent and Chris Green off the bench.
Their inexperience was felt in the opening period as they relied on the razor-sharp finishing of Horne and Willie Manu to take a 12-6 interval lead.
Horne was in the right place at the right time to run onto a perfectly-weighted pass and burst through the Bulls defence before racing 40 yards to cross on eight minutes.
A Hull mistake gifted Bradford their first score when Jarrod Sammut clasped onto an ill-advised pass at close quarters and, while he was trip-tackled with the try-line gaping, the Bulls recycled the ball to see Keith Lulia over.
Manu restored Hull's six-point advantage on 20 minutes, expertly wrong-footing a pair of defenders to score under the posts, but for the remainder of the half Hull remained marooned in their own half.
Despite their territorial advantage Bradford failed to find a second try before the interval with Brett Kearney going over untouched only for his run to be ruled out after an earlier obstruction.
The Bulls were rewarded five minutes after the interval when, after Hull gave away two penalties to advance them down the field, Briscoe dropped a routine kick into the in-goal area and Karl Pryce fell on the loose ball.
The home side resorted to kicking for territory, a tactic aided when Kearney needlessly gathered a ball drifting out of the in-goal before turning into a crunching Manu tackle.
With some field position to finally work with Hull found a third try to edge them back ahead, Danny Houghton making the crucial yards with a scurrying run before Horne barged over for his second.
Tickle landed his third conversion to make it 18-12 with 22 minutes left.
Bradford had shown little creativity until they produced a try to remember and level scores with 14 minutes left.
The move began with a series of tired-looking offloads in the centre of the park which, somehow eventually opened up the defence before Lulia raced 30 yards and drew two defenders before a clever pass sent Bateman over.
Just four minutes later Hull regained their lead, with Briscoe finishing a slick move in the corner, and while Tickle missed the kick he landed a late penalty to ensure the Airlie Birds maintained their early-season momentum.
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