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15 May 2023

IAN RIGG Odsal Stadium

The Lions went into this game with a well-documented injury list announced by the club in the days leading up to the game. A squad of twenty players was announced two days before the game and this was to include Dan Norman. Wes Bruines and Lewis Baxter on Dual Registration from St Helens, Amir Bourouh from Salford Reds and Tom Whitehead from Warrington Wolves and the remaining Lions players that were fit enough for the challenge. The Bulls had also gone through a bit of turmoil earlier in the week when their coach Mark Dunning was to lose his job following a heavy defeat at Barrow.

The Lions started well, and Joey Romeo had a goo chance on five minutes when he dived for the left corner but was just knocked into touch as he tried to ground the ball, but it was Kieran Gill who put the Bulls ahead on eight minutes when he followed a Dec Patton kick to score, and Patton added the conversion. Two minutes later they scored again when Brad England sidestepped his way past Mike Butt to score on the right and Patton again converted. Patton then added a penalty goal from in front of the posts before the Lions lost Mike Butt when he had to leave the field for a head assessment but was able to return and he replaced Ollie Olds who appeared to be struggling when he left the field. The Lions opened their account on twenty-seven minutes when Jayden Hatton intercepted a Patton pass in his own thirty and raced seventy metres to score with Dan Abram adding the conversion.

The Bulls than hit back with two tries in three minutes with Nathan Mason and David Foggin-Johnston going over and Patton converted as the raced to a twenty-point lead, Mike Butt pulled of a try saving tackle on Mason three minutes from the break but as the half time hooter sounded the Lions were awarded a penalty and Abram converted it.

Allan Coleman commented in his end of match interview that the players had spoken about being smarter in the second half and to take their chances when they came. Amir Bouroh scored the Lions second try three minutes into the second half when he darted over from short range near the posts and Abram converted. Three minutes later they were in again when Rhodri Lloyd charged down a Patton kick just inside his own half and he raced away with defenders giving chase to score on the right and Abram again converted. Five minutes later the scores were level when Lloyd this time linked onto a Jordy Gibson stab kick to again score on the right and Abram was again on target.

The Bulls again responded when Foggin-Johnston scored his second in the corner and Patton converted. An error at the restart by the Lions put the Bulls into a good position and Mason scored his second from a short pass from Kevin Appo and Patton converted again. It looked like the Bulls were going to run away with it when they scored their third try in six minutes when Appo went over under the posts, and this too was converted. The Lions had the best of the final twenty minutes when firstly Josh Eaves was held up after some good pressure on the line and then a Bulls player was put on report for a possible gouge on Gibson. The try scoring had not finished yet and Wes Bruines scored with five minutes left when he collected a high ball from Gibson to score by the posts and this too was converted and with two minutes left a superb short pass from Abram found Andy Badrock and he too scored by the posts and again Abram converted. It was a pity there was so little time left after the conversion, but it was a super performance from the Lions as they fell just short.


Butt, Hatton, Spedding, Bruines, Romeo, Olds, Gibson, Baxter, Eaves, Norman, Lloyd, Badrock, Case.

Subs: Bourouh, Abram, Whitehead, Parnaby.

Tries: Hatton, Bourouh, Lloyd (2), Bruines, Badrock

Goals:  Abram 7

ATT: 2935, H-T: 26-8, PENS: 10-13, REFEREE: Cameron Worsley


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