RUGBY: Bradford back on top

Bradford’s Dan Bright gets to grips with Pewsey’s Sikele Ratubuli on Saturday

Bradford’s Dan Bright gets to grips with Pewsey’s Sikele Ratubuli on Saturday

First published in Sport by

BRADFORD coach Dave George agrees that his side’s league trip to Supermarine a week tomorrow is likely to prove a pivotal afternoon for their title ambitions.

The Ashley Lane side claimed a bonus-point triumph over improving basement boys Pewsey to reclaim pole position in Dorset & Wilts One North as previous leaders Minety lost at Combe Down.

South Marston side Marine are two points adrift of the top two in third but, with two games in hand – the first of them at home to Melksham tomorrow – the destiny of the crown remains in their hands.

Bradford though can boost their own fortunes by lowering their rivals’ colours next weekend and George admitted: “Marine away, that could be the one.

“We’ve got back on top, but there are some tough fixtures to finish, like Marine, Swindon 2nd at home and then you don’t know what you’ll get when you play against Chippenham 2nd.

“I said it would be a tougher game (against Pewsey) than last time (a 56-14 win in November) and it was. From the kick-off, we got turned over and they scored straight from that.

“But it was one of our best performances of the season and I liked the pace and intensity we had. There were a few defensive lapses, but we went through the phases well.’’

Bradford responded to their early setback as number eight Ed Dawson pushed his way over and Dan Bright converted, as he did when centre Charlie Holton ghosted through the defence.

Pewsey scored a second try, but Ben Sheppard added a third for the home side before half time.

Dawson and Holton were on the scoresheet again in the second half, sandwiching a try from centre Nick Abbott, Bright adding a further conversion.

  • MELKSHAM captain Callum Hurn praised his side despite their 54-7 defeat to a strengthened Trowbridge second string.

The visitors grabbed the first points of the game when Simon Foster intercepted to dot down and convert his own score.

But they lost centre Phil Stone to injury and, after Trowbridge, who fielded several first team players, had levelled through scrum-half Kyle Knight, they added seven more scores.

Hurn said: “We knew the challenge that faced us and were determined to meet it.

“We had good periods in the first half and Trowbridge showed the levels we need to achieve in the second.’’

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