Deacon breaks goalkicking record

Last updated at 12:01 19 April 2006

Bradford coach Brian Noble remained tight-lipped over his future but his players did the talking for him as they blasted their way to third place in the engage Super League table with a 52-18 win over Huddersfield.

Noble is expected to become Wigan's 10th coach in as many years later this week, despite a last-ditch attempt by Bradford directors to keep him at Odsal, amid rumours that some of the Bulls players could join him at the JJB Stadium.

Fans called for Noble to stay and for the club to sack chief executive Gareth Davies following a breakdown in relations between the two.

And Noble admitted that he has yet to finally make his mind up over whether to accept Wigan's lucrative offer to succeed Ian Millward.

"The performance was just what we needed," said Noble. "There was no talk of departures.

"They had no distractions, the job tonight was all about performance and they were terrific.

"I'll have to make a decision some time, I've still got some deliberations to make."

Acting Bulls captain Paul Deacon did his best to divert attention from the coach with a 20-point haul which enabled him to break the club's goalkicking record.

Deacon, leading the side for the first time in the absence of the injured Iestyn Harris, converted eight of the Bulls' nine tries to take his career total to 780, eclipsing the record set by Keith Mumby 16 years ago.

"It's a superb record to break because Keith was an iconic figure at this club," said Noble.

"Paul is a marksman par excellence and I thought he took the line on tonight and looked very sharp with the ball. Some of his short kicking and short passing play was super.

"He's only 27 so he's not only going to break it but blow it out of the water."

Deacon was also one of eight different tryscorers as the Bulls successfully followed up their magnificent win at Leeds.

Huddersfield fought valiantly but were disrupted by injuries to full-back Paul Reilly (head), second rower Chris Nero (neck) and loose forward Stephen Wild (knee) as they slumped to a third successive defeat.

"They were clinical and put us to the sword," admitted coach Jon Sharp. "I was disappointed that the scoreline blew out. I didn't think it was a fair reflection of the game.

"I was proud of the way we battled and never gave in. The injuries knocked us about a bit and we used all our changes with 10 minutes to go."

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