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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||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
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