Bradford Bulls 16-20 Leigh Centurions: Highlights, player ratings & talking points

Bradford Bulls took on Leigh Centurions tonight in the last game of the Challenge Cup Fifth Round.

With the winner playing Hull KR at Craven Park, it was evident what was at stake with both sides refusing to give the other an inch.

Bradford raced into an 8-0 lead before Leigh clawed their way back to level the proceedings at the break at 8-8.

The Bulls were in the ascendancy as they led 16-8 with 15 minutes to go, but Nene MacDonald brought the Centurions back to 16-14.

And, just to break Bradford hearts, Ed Chamberlain dotted down with five minutes left.

Highlights

Kieran Gill’s try was a superb one-two with his winger Ryan Millar.

The battle between opposing halfbacks Joe Mellor and Dec Patton was incredible to witness as they tried to outsmart the other.

Talking points

1. John Kear’s cup heroics

A few weeks ago, Bradford were put to the sword by Leigh at the Leigh Sports Village. But, this fixture was completely different – and it’s no surprise that John Kear was able to inspire the Bulls to a great performance against a much more expensive put-together side.

2. Referee voice

It’s all well and good hearing the referee in his decision-making, but when it drowns out the commentators, pundits and fans then it is surely not the right volume? The screaming of referee Marcus Griffiths was deafening, and though it is good to hear an official’s explanation, the noise of ‘held’ and the number of tackles being counted were too much sometime.

3. Nene MacDonald

How good is this signing? He single-handedly helped get Leigh back into the game with some massive runs and a great individual try. Head of rugby Chris Chester really did good business bringing him to the club – he will be vital to Leigh’s chances of promotion.

Player ratings

Bradford Bulls

Elliot Kear – 8
Matty Dawson-Jones – 8
Aaron Murphy – 8
Kieran Gill – 8
Ryan Millar – 7
Jordan Lilley – 7
Dec Patton – 8
Ben Evans – 6
Tommy Doyle – 7
Ant Walker – 7
Sam Scott – 8
Chester Butler – 7
Jordan Baldwinson – 6
Substitutes
George Flanagan – 7
Samy Kibula – 6
Ebon Scurr – 6
Rhys Evans – 6

Leigh Centurions

Caleb Aekins – 7
Kieran Dixon – 6
Nene MacDonald – 9
Ed Chamberlain – 7
Keanan Brand – 7
Ben Reynolds – 7
Joe Mellor – 8
Adam Sidlow – 8
Aaron Smith – 7
Tom Amone – 7
Joe Wardle – 7
Sam Stone – 7
John Asiata – 7
Substitutes
Mark Ioane – 8
Ata Hingano – 7
Jacob Jones – 6
Edwin Ipape – 6

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