22 May 2022


Thunder count cost of scoreless first half at Odsal.

Newcastle Thunder’s wait for a first win over Bradford Bulls continues following a 36-20 loss in the Betfred Championship on Saturday evening.

The Tynesiders were left to count the cost of disjointed first half where four converted tries were conceded without reply, as a clinical Bradford took the opportunities presented to them.

A second half response was mustered by Eamon O’Carroll’s side with four tries providing some balance to the score line, but the hosts were able to use the cushion of a comfortable lead to see out the game.

Thunder were a converted try down after just two minutes as Bradford punished the error of a fifth tackle kick going out on the full.

Beginning their first set on halfway, the Bulls made quick inroads towards Newcastle’s line before a neat kick through at the end of the set was gathered by former Thunder-man Kieran Gill and dotted down for the try.

Despite working themselves into promising positions close to the hosts line, Thunder weren’t able to come up with a response and the Bulls extend their advantage 13 minutes in through Tommy Doyle.

Gill’s second try of the game made it 18 - 0 approaching the half hour as the hosts continued to punish Thunder mistakes that prevented them making the most of promising positions.

A mass brawl six minutes from the break saw Thunder lose Jake Shorrocks and Bradford Tom Holroyd to a red card, before the host again crossed the whitewash after having to ride out a sustained period of pressure from Newcastle.

Despite a good start to the second half, Thunder’s task wasn’t getting any easier, with Brad Day having failed a half-time HIA and Ukuma Ta’ai struggling with an injury, the interchange plan was heavily hampered.

Thunder were 30-0 down 13 minutes in as Declan Patton barged off an attempted tackle close to the line for Bradfords fifth converted score.

Approaching the hour, Lewis Peachey got Thunder off the mark as back to back penalties against the host gave Thunder the opportunity to attack from close range with a full set of tackles available.

Crashing over as he was played in with a short pass, the score was immediately backed up as winger Jack Johnson struck on the next set.

Returning from a month-long injury lay-off, he combined superbly with Josh Woods, gathering a well-placed cross-field kick for the first of three tries.

His second was an opportunistic pounce as Bradford fumbled a high ball and spilled it back into the in-goal area.

His third was the best of the bunch as he worked in very little space to collect a sharp pass from Woods and dive in to avoid the attentions of the Bradford defence.

It came after Payton had scored his second of the day to give the Bulls a 36-14 lead and thus was no more than a consolation score, but did show that Thunder still had desire and fight to play right to the end.

Newcastle Thunder

1 Craig Mullen, 5 Gideon Boafo, 35 Jack Croft, 23 Isaac Nokes, 2 Jack Johnson, 6 Jake Shorrocks, 7 Josh Woods, 8 Nathan Wilde, 9 Josh Eaves, 10 Mitch Clark, 11 Alex Foster 12 Brad Day, 20 Brad Gallagher

17 Ukuma Ta’ai, 14 Connor Bailey, 19 Pat Moran, 21 Lewis Peachey

Tries - Peachey (58) Johnson (60, 68, 75)
Goals - Woods 2/4
Red Card - Shorrocks 

Bradford Bulls
21 Elliot Hall, 19 David Foggin-Johnson, 2 Matty Dawson-Jones, 4 Kieran Gill, 22 Joe Burton, 6 Dec Patton,  15 Jordan Baldwinson, 9 Tommy Doyle, Muizz Mustapha, 17 Brad England, 24 AJ Wallace, 32 Sam Hallas

Interchanges - 13 Ben Evans, 16 Ebon Scurr, 8 Ant Walker, Tom Holroyd

Tries - Gill (2, 29) Doyle (13, 72) Wallace (39) Patton (53) 
Goals - Patton 6/6
Red Card - Holroyd.