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York Knights v Bradford Bulls - Match Preview

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York Knights host Bradford Bulls at the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday afternoon (3pm), in the first meeting between the two sides since last year’s Betfred Championship Play-Offs clash.

York enjoyed an incredible run of 10 wins from 11 league matches to claim the final spot in the Betfred Championship Play-offs on the final day of the regular season, leapfrogging Halifax Panthers and Batley Bulldogs in sixth position.

The Knights’ reward was a trip to Odsal in the Play-Off Eliminators, though Bradford ran out as 22-8 winners to reach the Semi-Finals.

Andrew Henderson’s side had made a strong start, establishing an 8-0 lead thanks to two Liam Harris goals and a Jesse Dee try.

But the Bradford bench led the Bulls’ response as interchanges Fenton Rogers and Keven Appo hit back with a couple of quick-fires scores just prior half-time before Tom Holmes further bolstered the lead early in the second half. Jordan Lilley also contributed five goals from as many attempts.

The Bulls went on to suffer a 38-20 defeat at Toulouse Olympique in the Play-Offs and will be hopeful of another finish inside the top six under new head coach Eamon O’Carroll, who took over in the off-season after a spell as Catalans Dragons assistant coach.

Ahead of O’Carroll debut campaign, Bradford have retained the core of their 2023 squad while further adding to the forward pack in the form of Featherstone Rovers back-rower John Davies, ex-Leeds Rhinos prop Daniel Smith and Manly Sea Eagles second-row Zac Fulton.

Canberra Raiders hooker Mitch Souter has also been recruited to provide further options at nine alongside veteran George Flanagan Snr.

O’Carroll’s Bulls have enjoyed a strong start to the 2024 Betfred Championship, recovering from an opening round 42-12 defeat at title favourites Wakefield Trinity to record three straight wins over fellow Play-Off contenders, beating Halifax Panthers, Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse.

York meanwhile remain in the hunt for their first league victory of the year, following defeats to Doncaster, Toulouse, Barrow Raiders and Wakefield but may take confidence from last season’s regular season double over Bradford, winning 32-16 at the LNER Community Stadium before prevailing 20-10 at Odsal.

To purchase your tickets for Sunday’s double header as York Valkyrie face St Helens (12pm) and York Knights take on Bradford Bulls (3pm), please click HERE.

Alternatively, you can call 01904 950950 or head to the York SMC Ticket Office (click HERE for opening times).

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