Bradford Bulls 22 - Whitehaven 36

Whitehaven secured their first victory at Odsal since 1964 and their first victory over Bradford in 50 years as they secured the final play-off berth on the end of a fantastic run which saw them win 11 of their final 13 games.

Although after the half hour mark that seemed a long way off.

Haven had been a shadow of themselves compared to previous weeks as they struggled to compete down the middle and complete their own sets.

Bradford got the scoring underway with two tries in the first 10 minutes of the game. Rhys Evans took full advantage of the change in the ball strip rule for this season. The 3 Bradford defenders soon changed to 1 and Evans stripped the ball and went over unchallenged. Brough converted.

It was back to back tries for the home side as Aaron Murphy went over as the Bulls were marched down the field following a penalty for offside. Some soft defence allowed Murphy to score. Brough converted once again.

The game become more of a contest following the two tries as it became scrappy. The Bulls still had the lion’s share of possession and territorial advantage. The home side got their third try as David Foggin-Johnston was able to keep himself in the field of play and touchdown in the corner. Brough couldn’t convert from the touchline but it looked game over. But write off Gary Charlton’s at your peril.

Two tries in the final two minutes of the first half brought the Cumbrians back in to the fixture. Firstly through the returning Tom Walker. Louis Jouffret with a cross field kick found a leaping Lachlan Walmsley who rose higher then anyone else. The Australian knocked the ball back to Walker to touch down.

The following set saw Jouffret chip the ball over the top. It was collected by Walmsley who then passed inside to Jouffret to reduce the deficit. Walmsley converted once again and it was a four point gap at the break.

The Cumbrians started the second half off as they finished off the first half. Gregg McNally rounded off his break despite pulling his hamstring five metres short of the Bulls' try line. McNally had to leave the field as Walmsley converted again. It continued as it seemed the visitors could break at will. Walmsley broke to groans around Odsal, a pass inside saw Chris Taylor in support and it was four tries in seven unbelievable minutes scoring 24 points as Walmsley converted again.

The try scoring wasn’t over however. Louis Jouffret was on the end of another break. This time from man of the match Dion Aiye as the Bulls couldn’t handle the PNG international. Aiye found Jouffret on his inside shoulder and it was five tries in 11 minutes.

The Bulls players on the field were shellshocked and their shock turned to aggression as there were numerous scuffles in the second half. The game was secured just after the hour mark as Lachlan Walmsley turned try converter to try scorer. He was the first to react from a high banana kick from Louis Jouffret and crossed the whitewash. The Australian converted for a 20 point gap.

The home side continued to knock on the door and nerves will have been jangling when Ben Evans crossed for his second of the afternoon as he found a gap in a tiring Whitehaven defence. Hallas converted but it was nothing short of a consolation score as Whitehaven secured a famous win and go into the play-off series as one of the Championship’s form sides.

53 Elliot Kear

2 Joe Brown

3 Rhys Evans

4 Ross Oakes

19 David Foggin-Johnston

6 Danny Borough

7 Jordan Lilley

24 Ben Evans

9 Thomas Doyle

10 Steve Crossley

20 Brad England

12 Aaron Murphy

13 Sam Hallas


14 George Flanagan

15 Dan Fleming

23 Ant Walker

43 Eldon Myers


R.Evans (5), B.Evans 2 (10,74), Foggin-Johnston (29)


Brough 2/3, Hallas 1/1


1 Gregg McNally

5 Andrew Bulman

3 Chris Taylor

23 Jason Mossop

2 Lachlan Walmsley

32 Louis Jouffret

7 Nikau Williams

33 Andy Thornley

18 James Newton

35 Guy Graham

26 Ryan King

12 Liam Cooper

16 Tom Wilkinson


13 Dion Aiye

17 Tom Walker

20 Jake Bradley

27 Andrew Dawson


Jouffret 2 (39,49), Walker (38), McNally (41), Taylor (45), Walmsley 63


Walmsley 6/7