Halifax Panthers slumped to a disappointing 29-10 Good Friday Derby Day defeat to old rivals Bradford Bulls at a wet and windy Odsal Stadium. Despite the addition of Leeds Rhinos dual reg players Jack Smith and Kieran Hudson, the Bulls with a makeshift halfback partnership of Jordan Lilley and usual back rower John Davies made the better use of the small Odsal pitch and an ill-disciplined Panthers side to claim the spoils.

For the 2nd week in succession, Fax fell behind to an early right wing try. Lilley’s cross field kick was spilled by Gareth Widdop straight into the hands of Ethan Myers who touched the ball down. Lilley started his flawless evening with the boot to put the Bulls 6-0 up.

But back came the Panthers, Matty Gee stormed onto a Louis Jouffret ball to score under the posts which Jouffret converted before James Woodburn-Hall dummied his way over wide on the left to take the lead for Fax for what turned out to the only time of the game, despite Jouffret’s missed conversion at 6-10.

Then came a couple of pivotal moments which saw the momentum shift towards the Bulls. Kieran Hudson, who had been causing dents in the Bulls ranks both in attack and defence, came off second best in a challenge with former Panther Eribe Doro and failed his HIA. Much more impactful was a forced offload from Connor Davies which fell into the hands of a Bradford man to give Mitch Souter the chance to power over from close range from a Lilley offload. The conversion was the only difference between the sides at the break for a 12-10 scoreline.

The Second Half turned out to be a disappointing one for the visitors as the Bulls, greatly aided by Fax’s ill-discipline with the ball and penalties gifting easy metres, won the game.

Just after Fax failed to take an early chance from a Jouffret and Woodburn-Hall break, Bulls tries from Max Wood and Zac Fulton with 2 conversions, a penalty and a drop goal from Jordan Lilley put the cherry on top of a 29-10 victory cake for the home side and not a good start for the Panthers in their new away strip.

Bradford Bulls
McGowan, Myers, Arundel, Gill, Carr, J Davies, Lilley, Doro, Souter, Smith, Fulton, Butler, Hallas
Subs: Appo, Wilson, Ott, Wood (18th Man: Green)

Tries: Myers (4), Souter (29), Wood (48), Fulton (77)
Goals: Lilley 4/4
Penalty: Lilley 2/2
Drop Goal: Lilley (75)

Halifax Panthers
Woodburn-Hall, Eden, Smith, McComb, Saltonstall, Jouffret, Widdop, Larroyer, Inman, Hudson, Kavanagh, Gee, C Davies
Subs: Keyes, Tangata, Lannon, O Davies (18th Man: Hursey)

Tries: Gee (21), Woodburn-Hall (26)
Goal: Jouffret 1/2

#BWO #MatchReport

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