1997 Bradford Bulls season

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1997 Bradford Bulls season
Super League II 1st – Champions
Challenge Cup Runners-up
1997 record Wins: 24; Draws: 0; Losses: 10
Points scored For: 1095; Against: 788
Team information
Chairman Chris Caisley
Head Coach Matthew Elliot
Captain
Stadium Odsal Stadium
Avg. Attend. 14,327
High. Attend. 18,387 vs. St Helens RLFC
Top scorers
Tries James Lowes – 17
Goals Steve McNamara – 133
Points Steve McNamara – 299
1996 List of seasons 1998 >

This article details the Bradford Bulls rugby league football club's 1997 season. This is the 2nd season of the Super League era.

Season review[edit]

February 1997

Bradford started off their 1997 season with an emphatic 62–10 win over Hunslet Hawks in the 4th Round of the Challenge Cup. The Bulls continued their Challenge Cup run with a 34–12 win against London Broncos.

March 1997

The Bulls progressed through to the Challenge Cup semi-final with a 38–12 win in the quarter-final against Oldham Bears. Bradford kicked off their Super League II campaign with a 58–12 win against Warrington Wolves. Bradford once again reached the Challenge Cup final for the 2nd year in a row and similar to last year they beat arch rivals Leeds Rhinos to get there; in a tight game the Bulls were 24–10 victors.

April 1997

April started off with a 38–12 win against Castleford Tigers keeping the Bulls at the top of the table. A last minute drop goal from Steve McNamara ensure that the Bulls beat London Broncos 19–14. Bradford then travelled to Central Park to play the Premiership Champions Wigan Warriors, a game which Paul Cook's 100% goal kicking ensure the Bulls stayed top of the table with a 22–18 win. Bradford continued their unbeaten run with a 30–18 win in Paris. The Bulls unbeaten run was nearly broken with a spirited display from Halifax Blue Sox however Bradford managed to hang onto a 28–26 lead to win the match. Bradford finished April off by hammering Sheffield Eagles 54–10.

May 1997

The Bulls were beaten in the Challenge Cup final by St Helens for the 2nd time in 2 years as they succumbed to a 32–22 defeat, this also marked the Bulls 1st loss of the season. Bradford didn't have to wait long for another crack at the Saints as they play at the home of the Bulls the week after the cup final however this time is was Bradford who took the points in revenge of the final defeat by beating the Saints 38–18. The Bulls continued their unbeaten streak in the league with two more wins in May, the first being a 38–14 victory against Warrington Wolves and the second being a 42–28 decimation of Oldham Bears. The final game in May saw the Bulls take on Halifax Blue Sox at Thrum Hall, Bradford found themselves behind 26–6 before going on to win 30–26 making it one of the best comebacks in the Super League era.

June 1997

Next up for the Bulls were the newest team in the Super League, the Salford City Reds. Salford put up a good battle but were no match for the Challenge Cup runners up who won 40–24. Bradford continued their unbeaten league start at rivals Leeds Rhinos in front of a 19,137 crowd, they beat the Rhinos 32–16 and increased their lead at the top of the table. In June the Bulls also participated in the World Club Challenge tournament, first up was the visit of Penrith Panthers, Bradford got off to a great start leading 16–6 at halftime but the Panthers came back to clinch the game 20–16. Bradford also lost their next two WCC games, a 20–16 loss to Auckland Warriors and a 30–10 loss to Cronulla Sharks.

July 1997

July started off with a hard fought 34–20 win against Castleford Tigers to keep their unbeaten league run intact. The Bulls made it 16 wins out of 16 games with a 38–20 effort against Challenge Cup winners St Helens. Bradford once again beat newcomers Salford City Reds 34–14 to stay top of the league. The WCC got even worse for the Bulls as they lost 64–14 to Auckland Warriors in the return fixture and also lost 54–14 to Penrith Panthers.

August 1997

Bradford faced off against arch-rivals Leeds Rhinos at Odsal in a game which the Bulls were victors beating Leeds 22–8. The month got better as they dispatched Sheffield Eagles 32–12 and Paris St Germain 68–0 which took their winning streak in the league to 20 games. This unbeaten run ended in Round 21 when Wigan Warriors comfortably beat Bradford 33–18, then the week after the Bulls lost 28–24 against 2nd placed London Broncos. These results however did not affect the Bulls' finishing positions and they finished top of the table becoming the champions of Super League II. The Bulls played their final group game in the WCC losing 40–12 against Cronulla Sharks.

September 1997

The Bulls finished off the 1997 English season with a 25–12 loss to Castleford Tigers in the Premiership Trophy Quarter-final loss.

October 1997

Bradford had one more game of the season. The quarter final of the World Club Challenge against Auckland Warriors. The Bulls were only losing 20–16 at halftime but a great second half from Auckland blew Bradford away and the Bulls lost 62–14. The entire tournament was branded as a poor showing as no British teams qualified for the semi-finals.

1997 milestones[edit]

Table[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 22 20 0 2 769 397 +372 40
2 London Broncos 22 15 3 4 616 418 +198 33
3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 22 14 1 7 592 506 +86 29
4 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 22 14 0 8 683 398 +285 28
5 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 22 13 1 8 544 463 +81 27
6 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 22 11 0 11 428 495 −67 22
7 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Blue Sox 22 8 2 12 524 549 −49 18
8 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 22 9 0 13 415 574 −159 18
9 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 22 8 0 14 437 647 −210 16
10 Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 22 5 2 15 334 515 −181 12
11 Paris Saint-Germain 22 6 0 16 362 572 −210 12
12 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Bears 22 4 1 17 461 631 −170 9
Champions Relegated

1997 fixtures and results[edit]

LEGEND
  Win
  Draw
  Loss

1997 Stones Bitter Super League

Date Competition Rnd Vrs H/A Venue Result Score Tries Goals Att
14/3/97 Super League II 1 Wolvescolours.svgWarrington H Odsal Stadium W 58–20 Paul (3), Spruce (2), Lowes, McDermott, McNamara, Peacock, Scales McNamara 9/10 15,070
21/3/97 Super League II 2 Oldhamcolours.svgOldham A Boundary Park W 30–18 Bradley, Jowitt, McNamara, Nickle, Spruce McNamara 4/4, Cook 1/1 5,604
1/4/97 Super League II 4 Cascolours.pngCastleford A The Jungle W 38–12 Paul (2), Jowitt, Loughlin, Lowes, McDermott McNamara 3/3, Cook 4/4 7,882
6/4/97 Super League II 5 Cronulla colours.svgLondon H Odsal Stadium W 19–14 Cook, Loughlin, Nickle McNamara 3/3, McNamara 1 DG 15,556
11/4/97 Super League II 6 Wigancolours.svgWigan A Central Park W 22–18 Peacock (2), Calland Cook 5/5 10,710
18/4/97 Super League II 7 Newcastle colours.svgParis A Stade Sébastien Charléty W 30–18 Cook (2), Paul (2), Lowes McNamara 4/4, Cook 1/1 9,745
23/4/97 Super League II 3 Faxcolours.svgHalifax H Odsal Stadium W 28–26 Knox (3), Calland, McNamara McNamara 4/5 13,285
27/4/97 Super League II 8 Sheffeagles colours.svgSheffield H Odsal Stadium W 54–10 Anderson (2), Bradley (2), Ekoku (2), McDermott, McNamara, Nickle, Peacock McNamara 7/10 14,384
11/5/97 Super League II 9 Saintscolours.svgSt Helens H Odsal Stadium W 38–18 Forshaw (2), Dwyer, Knox, Loughlin, McNamara McNamara 7/7 18,387
18/5/97 Super League II 10 Wolvescolours.svgWarrington A Wilderspool Stadium W 38–14 Tomlinson (2), Anderson, Calland, Forshaw, Lowes, Peacock McNamara 5/7 7,043
23/5/97 Super League II 11 Oldhamcolours.svgOldham H Odsal Stadium W 42–28 Ekoku (2), Scales (2), Tomlinson (2), Spruce, Wittenberg McNamara 5/8 13,262
27/5/97 Super League II 12 Faxcolours.svgHalifax A Thrum Hall W 30–26 Spruce (2), Knox, Loughlin, McDermott, Scales Loughlin 2/4, McNamara 1/2 6,252
1/6/97 Super League II 13 Redscolours.svgSalford A The Willows W 40–24 Bradley (2), Calland, Forshaw, Lowes, Tomlinson, Wittenberg McNamara 6/7 8,241
29/6/97 Super League II 14 Rhinoscolours.svgLeeds A Headingley Stadium W 32–16 Bradley, Graham, Hodgson, McNamara, Nickle McNamara 6/6 19,137
2/7/97 Super League II 15 Cascolours.pngCastleford H Odsal Stadium W 34–20 Scales (2), Tomlinson (2), Graham, McNamara McNamara 5/6 11,873
6/7/97 Super League II 16 Saintscolours.svgSt Helens A Knowsley Road W 38–20 Calland (2), Lowes (2), Bradley, Hodgson, Peacock McNamara 5/7 10,277
11/7/97 Super League II 17 Redscolours.svgSalford H Odsal Stadium W 34–14 Calland, Dwyer, Graham, Hodgson, Lowes, McDermott Loughlin 3/4, McNamara 2/2 14,095
10/8/97 Super League II 18 Rhinoscolours.svgLeeds H Odsal Stadium W 22–8 Paul (2), Lowes, Scales McNamara 3/4 16,542
16/8/97 Super League II 19 Sheffeagles colours.svgSheffield A Don Valley Stadium W 32–12 Dwyer, Forshaw, Lowes, Peacock, Wittenberg McNamara 6/6 10,603
22/8/97 Super League II 20 Newcastle colours.svgParis H Odsal Stadium W 68–0 Peacock (3), Lowes (2), Medley (2), Christie, Crouthers, Hodgson, Loughlin, Spruce, Tomlinson, Wittenberg McNamara 6/14 17,128
25/8/97 Super League II 21 Wigancolours.svgWigan H Odsal Stadium L 18–33 Dwyer, Lowes, Scales McNamara 3/3 16,761
31/8/97 Super League II 22 Cronulla colours.svgLondon A The Stoop L 24–28 Bradley, Dwyer, Loughlin, Spruce McNamara 4/4 9,166
14/9/97 Super League II Quarter-final Cascolours.pngCastleford H Odsal Stadium L 12–25 Lowes, Forshaw Loughlin 1/1, McNamara 1/1 10,300

Challenge Cup[edit]

LEGEND
  Win
  Draw
  Loss
Date Competition Rnd Vrs H/A Venue Result Score Tries Goals Att
9/2/97 Cup 4th Hunsletcolours.svgHunslet N Elland Road W 62–10 Donougher (2), Loughlin (2), Peacock (2), Cook, Jowitt, McDermott, Nickle, Scales McNamara 6/8, Cook 3/3 6,102
22/2/97 Cup 5th Cronulla colours.svgLondon A The Stoop W 34–12 Nickle (2), Cook, Loughlin, Paul, Tomlinson McNamara 5/6 6,102
9/3/97 Cup QF Oldhamcolours.svgOldham A Boundary Park W 38–12 Tomlinson (2), Loughlin, Paul, Peacock, Spruce McNamara 7/7 11,284
29/3/97 Cup SF Rhinoscolours.svgLeeds N McAlpine Stadium W 24–10 Loughlin, Lowes, Medley, McNamara McNamara 3/3, Cook 1/1 18,193
3/5/97 Cup Final Saintscolours.svgSt Helens N Wembley Stadium L 22–32 Loughlin, Lowes, Peacock, Tomlinson McNamara 3/4 78,022

World Club Challenge[edit]

LEGEND
  Win
  Draw
  Loss
Date Competition Rnd Vrs H/A Venue Result Score Tries Goals Att
9/6/97 WCC 1 Panthers colours.svgPenrith H Odsal Stadium L 16–20 Peacock, Scales, Spruce McNamara 2/3 14,378
14/6/97 WCC 2 New Zealand colours.svgNZ Warriors H Odsal Stadium L 16–20 Bradley, Forshaw McNamara 3/3, Loughlin 1/1 13,133
20/6/97 WCC 3 Cronulla colours.svgCronulla H Odsal Stadium L 10–30 Loughlin, Nickle Loughlin 1/2 10,756
20/7/97 WCC 4 New Zealand colours.svgNZ Warriors A Mount Smart Stadium L 14–64 Bradley, Lowes, McDermott Loughlin 1/3 12,500
28/7/97 WCC 5 Panthers colours.svgPenrith A Penrith Park L 14–54 Calland, Forshaw, Peacock Hodgson 1/3 5,336
2/8/97 WCC 6 Cronulla colours.svgCronulla A Endeavour Field L 12–40 Bradley (2) McNamara 2/2 8,272
3/10/97 WCC QF New Zealand colours.svgNZ Warriors A Mount Smart Stadium L 14–62 Bradley, Ekoku McNamara 3/3 12,063

1997 squad statistics[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Bradford Bulls.

Statistics include appearances and points in the Super League, Premiership, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge.[1][2]

No Player Position Tries Goals DG Points
1 Robbie Paul Fullback 11 0 0 44
2 Glen Tomlinson Stand Off 12 0 0 48
3 Graeme Bradley Centre 13 0 0 52
4 Abi Ekoku Wing 5 0 0 20
5 Jon Scales Wing 10 0 0 40
6 Danny Peacock Stand Off 16 0 0 64
7 Paul Cook Scrum-half 5 15 0 50
8 Jeff Wittenberg Wing 4 0 0 16
9 Kevin Crouthers Hooker 1 0 0 4
10 Nathan Graham Fullback 3 0 0 12
11 Jeremy Donougher Second Row 2 0 0 8
12 Paul Medley Second Row 3 0 0 12
13 Sonny Nickle Loose forward 8 0 0 32
14 Mike Forshaw Second Row 8 0 0 32
15 Gary Christie Wing 1 0 0 4
16 Warren Jowitt Prop 3 0 0 12
17 Paul Anderson Prop 3 0 0 12
18 Simon Knox Loose forward 5 0 0 20
20 Matt Calland Centre 8 0 0 32
22 Brian McDermott Prop 7 0 0 28
23 Bernard Dwyer Second Row 5 0 0 20
24 Paul Loughlin Centre 13 9 0 70
25 James Lowes Hooker 17 0 0 68
26 Steve McNamara Loose forward 8 133 1 299
27 Tahi Reihana Centre 0 0 0 0
28 Stuart Spruce Fullback 10 0 0 40
30 Andy Hodgson Centre 4 1 0 18

Captain sports.svg = Captain Injury icon 2.svg = Injured X (1).png = Suspended

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bailey, Richard; Webb, Matthew. "Bradford Bulls". rugby-league-world.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Super League II 1997". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 

External links[edit]