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Super League: Bradford Bulls beat Leeds Rhinos in derby shock
Lee Gaskell scored a match-winning late try as Bradford Bulls shocked Leeds Rhinos 20-14 in the last West Yorkshire derby between the teams before the Bulls are relegated to the Kingstone Press Championship.
Moments of quality were few and far between in a match punctuated by errors, but it was the relegated Bulls rather than title-chasers Leeds who came out on top in the wet conditions.
On-loan winger Danny Williams, a Leeds academy graduate, gave Bradford a fifth-minute lead, only for it to be wiped out by Mitch Achurch's effort.
The scrappy nature of the match continued after the break, with tries from Luke Gale and Brett Delaney both coming on the back of ball spills.
Gale's penalty gave the Bulls a 12-10 advantage heading into the final 15 minutes but Luke Briscoe appeared to have given the Rhinos bragging rights.
However, Gaskell took Gale's offload and jinked his way to the line to send the Bulls fans wild, before the latter's last-minute two-pointer made sure of Bradford's second major scalp in as many weeks.
Bradford have had the better of their West Yorkshire derbies with Leeds in Super League despite their recent woes and the four-time champions were quickest out of the blocks against a Rhinos side missing a host of stars.
Gale's break gave the Bulls good field position and the scrum-half then kicked for the corner, where Williams profited from a mistake by Tom Briscoe to touch down.
Leeds were finding it difficult to match Bradford's early enthusiasm and it took a storming run by prop Brad Singleton to spark them into life.
His charge downfield took the Rhinos deep into the Bulls half before Leeds shifted the ball from left to right and levelled through Achurch, who showed good footwork to evade Joe Arundel.
The hosts looked to be in again when Josh Walters galloped towards the Bradford line after pouncing on a Bulls mistake in his own 20, but he was hauled down by Elliot Kear.
All was not lost for Leeds as Adam Sidlow was sin-binned for preventing Walters from getting a quick play of the ball.
The Rhinos failed to make the Bradford forward pay for his indiscipline and were forced into a reshuffle themselves when Ben Jones-Bishop hobbled off with a leg injury.
Luke Briscoe replaced the Salford-bound winger and his early fumble summed up a poor opening 40 minutes.
The second period got off to a promising start as Sidlow and Rob Burrow both made good yards after breaking the line.
But it was another error which led to the next score, Tom Briscoe again spilling a kick, this time allowing Gale to tap ahead and touch down.
It was Leeds' turn to profit from a mistake next, Delaney picking up close to the Bulls line after Zak Hardaker's pass had gone to ground before going over.
Bradford edged ahead once more when Gale slotted over a penalty from in front after the Rhinos were penalised for holding down.
Leeds hit back again through Luke Briscoe's try after Liam Sutcliffe was first to a Danny McGuire kick but Gaskell stepped his way to the line to give Bradford their first win over the Rhinos in six attempts.
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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 vs Salford|
|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|
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