Bees 31-8 Sandal
Bradford & Bingley pick holes in Sandal defence
It is often said that any side can beat any other on their day in this division.
However, on this showing it is a mystery how Sandal beat previously undefeated Chester the previous week as they were beaten at a canter by Martin Whitcombe’s men.
Aside from the excellent Mark Pease in the centre, stand-off Tom Hodson and open side flanker Tom Hirst, Sandal offered little as an attacking threat. However, they defended well for long periods to keep out the Bees, who had an upper hand in all departments.
Sandal made little impression when the home side were reduced to 13 men for ten minutes in the first half as Gavin Stead and then Roger Raper were sent to the cooler.
The home side were able to turn round 12-3 in front following that period when they were two men down. However, in truth the Sandal pack were never able to establish any kind of platform.
The first half was largely a forgettable 40 minutes as neither side really got going. The four penalties from Stead into the breeze against a single success from Hodson was probably a fair reflection of proceedings.
The second half was played at a better tempo and the home side started to open a few holes in the Sandal defence.
It took 15 minutes for the Bees to prise open the Sandal defence as Stead charged down the right flank for his eighth five-pointer of the season. The conversion came back off the post to spoil his otherwise immaculate day with the boot.
The Bees forwards were now clearly on top and, despite the huge presence of the three Norburys in the visiting pack, the Sandal eight were on roller skates as the Bees were awarded a penalty try as the visiting pack were overcome with 12 minutes left.
The Bees continued their squeeze up front and, with five minutes left, Ryan Wederell marked his return to the side with a flamboyant dive over the whitewash. With Stead tacking on both conversions, the Bees went looking for a fourth score, which proved elusive.
The Bees have won four from their last five and stand sixth in the table.