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Crookes helps Bulls steal win
Bradford shoot down Robins in Super League thriller
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.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||24||21|
|10||Salford Red Devils||24||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||24||8|
|Thursday 28th August|
|20:00||Warrington vs Huddersfield|
|Friday 29th August|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|20:00||Hull vs Hull K R|
|20:00||Leeds vs St Helens|
|Saturday 30th August|
|17:00||Catalan Dragons vs London Broncos|
|Sunday 31st August|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Salford|
|15:30||Castleford vs Bradford|
|Thursday 4th September|
|20:00||St Helens vs Warrington|
|Friday 5th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Leeds|
|Sunday 7th September|
|15:00||Salford vs London Broncos|
|Sunday 17th August|
|Bradford 34 - 28 Hull|
|London Broncos 40 - 36 Leeds|
|Huddersfield 28 - 14 Widnes|
|Friday 15th August|
|St Helens 40 - 16 Wakefield|
|Salford 34 - 22 Catalan Dragons|
|Warrington 48 - 10 Castleford|
|Thursday 14th August|
|Hull K R 14 - 14 Wigan|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|Castleford 64 - 18 London Broncos|
|Widnes 28 - 10 Hull K R|
|Wakefield 18 - 36 Huddersfield|
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