Purtell makes winning return after heart attack
SUPER LEAGUE WRAP
Adrian Purtell of Bradford Bulls. Photo: Getty Images
LONDON: Adrian Purtell made his first appearance since suffering a heart attack last May as the Bradford Bulls defeated Hull KR 34-12 to move level on nine points with four other Super League clubs Sunday.
Purtell, who featured for Canberra and Penrith in the NRL before moving to Europe, feared he would never play again after the incident following a defeat to Leeds at the Magic Weekend ten months ago.
However, the 28-year-old was given the all clear to resume training in December and then the all-clear to play again last week before being named among the replacements for the clash with Hull KR.
And centre Purtell indeed featured off the bench as tries from Jamie Foster, who also kicked five goals in the match, and Brett Kearney in the first ten minutes set the Bulls on their way to victory.
Elliot Kear and John Bateman added two more tries before the break while scores late in either half for Jarrod Sammut, who also used to play for Penrith in the NRL, completed the win.
Rovers were never in the running and tries from David Hodgson and Josh Hodgson were little more than consolations as Purtell made a remarkable return to rugby league at Odsal.
Meanwhile, the London Broncos returned to winning ways with a 26-12 win over Castleford Tigers - Chris Bailey's double and five goals from Michael Witt proving the difference.
Michael Robertson and former Australia international Craig Gower also touched down for the Broncos, who bounced back from last weekend's 42-22 defeat to Hull KR.
Elsewhere, Huddersfield Giants extended their lead at the top of the Super League to three points after coming from behind to down Hull FC 24-10 for their sixth win from seven this season.
Ben Crooks' 46th-minute try after Ben Galea's effort in the first half gave Hull a 10-6 lead however the Giants responded with scores from Aaron Murphy, Joe Wardle and Scott Grix for the win.
Shaun Lunt opened the scoring for Huddersfield in the 21st minute before Hull fought back with Danny Brough slotting four goals as the Giants pulled away at the top.
Catalans also had to stage a comeback against Widnes but once they did they were to run out 46-14 winners with Louis Anderson, Olivier Elima and Damien Blanch among the scorers after the break.
William Barthau, Mathias Pala and Zeb Taia also touched down as the Dragons recovered from being 14-12 down at half-time with a Patrick Ah Van double inspiring the Vikings.
Meanwhile, second-half tries from Joel Moon and Jamie Jones-Buchanan were enough for defending champions Leeds Rhinos to see off the charge of Wigan 18-14 at Headingley.
Wigan still sit second but are level on nine points with four other clubs - Bradford, Catalans, Warrington and St Helens - with the latter two recording big victories on Friday night.
Warrington bounced back from defeat to St Helens last time out to down Salford 46-4 - Ryan Atkins, Chris Riley and Richie Myler all bagging doubles and Joel Monaghan and Brett Hodgson one try each.
Myler surpassed 100 career tries in the match while full-back Jonny Lomax grabbed a hat-trick and kicked eight goals as St Helens saw off Wakefield 52-18.