This week: The Super League X Rugby Report.
Grand Final — Leeds Rhinos vs Bradford Bulls
The Super League X season culminated in this clash between the two West-Yorkshire rivals at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium. Defending champions Leeds, hoping to preserve their title, were the only thing that could stop the Bulls, appearing in a third successive Grand Final, from becoming the first team to win the Super League after finishing outside the top two in the regualr season.
Bradford started the better of the two teams, and were denied the first score of the night when second rower Brad Meyers was held up over the line. The Bulls did take the lead in the 18th minute, however, through a Paul Deacon penalty following a high tackle by Barrie McDermott on his former Leeds teammate Adrian Morley. Leeds, however, hit back almost immediately when Danny McGuire latched onto a Andrew Dunemann grubber kick to touch down. Kevin Sinfield missed the conversion and on 25 minutes a second Deacon penalty made the score 4-4. Leon Pryce then gave the Bulls the lead in the 29th minute, going through a gaping hole in the Rhinos' defence to score. Deacon missed the conversion, and then a successful penalty from Leeds' Kevin Sinfield made the half time score 8-6 to the Bulls.
Both teams had tries disallowed early in the second half, but on 53 minutes Lesley Vainikolo scored for the Bulls and with Deacon adding the extras, they led 14-6. Leeds had chances to get back into the game, but could not break down the resilient Bulls defence, and at five minutes from time Iestyn Harris added a drop goal for the Bulls to put the game beyond the Rhinos. The final hooter sounded and sparked celebrations from all the Bradford players, staff and supporters. It was left to Jamie Peacock, in his last act for the Bulls before, ironically, joining the Rhinos for next season, to raise the Super League trophy, declaring Bradford Bulls the Super League champions for 2005.
Final Score: Bradford Bulls 15, Leeds Rhinos 6