Workington Town 12 vs 26 Bradford Bulls

IN a sport where the referees are coming under increasing scrutiny this was a further showing as to why, with inconsistencies marring what had started to look like a real classic Championship game.

Workington started the game well as they completed set one in both attack and defence. Town were nearly through on three minutes when Ryan Miller made a mess of a Jamie Doran bomb and Curtis Teare knocked on with the line beckoning, but when the Bulls came away with possession they were given a repeat set for interference.

But the Bulls couldn’t make it pay as Dec Patton put a pass forward. Town turned the ball over five out from the Bulls line.

A high tackle on Perry Singleton was given as a clear knock on and the Bulls picked up the ball and against the run of play led 0-6 after nine minutes.

From the kick off Kear knocked on as Town looked to turn the screw but Carl Forber lost the ball through good defence speed from Patton.

Town broke well again and Alex Young was millimetres from scoring. As the Bulls progressed they made an error on the last with Miller knocking on.

Town came back well with a six again forced and a goal line drop out. The Bulls held out as Doran put a huge kick up and Dawson-Jones a ball into touch. The Bulls held them up again but on 21 minutes Town were in as Doran burst a tackle to offload to the returning Marcus O’Brien, Forber converting for 6-6 on 22 minutes.

Town were penalised on 27 minutes for a push after the ball was played. After three sets on the Town line and a dodgy bounce of the ball Aaron Murphy scored on 30 minutes, Dec Patton sliding the ball over for 6-12.

Bradford were awarded a penalty for offside on 34 minutes. Town were made to pay as Muzzi Mustapha, the on-loan Leeds Rhinos prop and former Hull KR man, battered a huge hole through the line of Town as Patton made it 6-18.

Town were on the attack but an injury for O’Brien on 38 minutes halted play. The Town forward was able to continue though. Town attacked at the end of the first but drastic Bulls defence held them out.

The Bulls got the ball on the board as Keiran Gill burrowed over from dummy half. Patton converted again for 6-24 and from the try the Bulls went the length and a big kick from Patton saw Broadbent drop it cold. Curtis Teare managed to bundle Liam Tindall (on loan from Leeds) into touch.

The crowd then voiced their justified anger as a clear strip was given as a knock on. Town were awarded a knock on of their own as touch judge Turly gave the call. Town were awarded a penalty but then on the second tackle were guilty of a forward pass.

Bradford then gave away a scrum on 59 minutes. On the hour mark Town scored again through a short side pass as Matty Henson scored. Forber converted on the hour for 12-24.

Bradford continued to turn the screw as Town were forced to drop out. They survived the set but the Bulls defended well to restrict Town to 30 metres. The referee then made a decision to award a penalty for a pass that looked three metres forward but the Town man was adjudged to have taken the Bulls man high.

Bradford looked to be in on the right but Teare cleared well. Town went down the line for an attack thwarted on the hooter.

Men of the match: Connor Fitzsimmons/Luke Broadbent.

WORKINGTON TOWN: 23 Broadbent, 5 Young, 2 Clegg, 19 Olstrom, 29 Teare, 6 Doran, 7 Forber, 8 Fitzsimmons, 9 Simons, 15 Clarke, 11 Singleton, 27 Steele, 3 Brown. Subs: 16 Henson, 14 O’Brien, 21 Thomson, 25 Hutchings.

Referee: Aaron Moore.