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RugbyL: Purtell grabs second chance after heart attack

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Adrian Purtell wants to put his career-threatening heart attack suffered last May behind him after making his first appearance since then in Bradford Bulls' 34-12 Super League win over Hull KR.

Purtell played the whole of the Bulls' defeat to Leeds during the Magic Weekend ten months ago and began to suffer chest pains before his condition worsened on the journey home.

The 28-year-old centre, who featured for Canberra and Penrith in the NRL before moving to Europe, feared he would never play again but was given the all-clear to resume training in December.

The green light to play again came last week and, named among the replacements for the clash with Hull KR, he came off the bench to rapturous applause at Odsal after 24 minutes.

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 with Elliot Kear and John Bateman following suit before the break.

Jarrod Sammut completed the win with tries late in either half with Purtell now keen to move on from his maiden appearance since his heart attack and concentrate on Bradford.

"There were times at the start when it felt like I might never get back but I've always had this goal to get back playing," said Purtell.

"I'm now glad we've got this game out of the way so we can focus on Bradford as a team, as we are playing really well at the moment.

"We can now put my misfortune ten months ago behind us. I felt fine -- the coaching staff have got me in really good shape -- although the contact I've only been doing this week so that was a bit out."

Meanwhile Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson is refusing to get carried away with the Giants' lead at the top of the Super League, which was extended to three points this weekend.

Huddersfield trailed 10-6 at home to Hull FC thanks to tries from Ben Galea in the 27th minute and Ben Crooks six minutes after half-time.

However they responded with scores from Aaron Murphy, Joe Wardle and Scott Grix for a 24-10 win, their sixth from seven games so far in the Super League.

But Huddersfield coach Anderson insists he isn't even looking at the Super League table which sees five clubs tied on nine points immediately below the Giants.

"We're just looking at trying to grind some wins out. You don't win anything at this time of the year. We're finding ways to win games at the moment," said Anderson.

"I thought Hull had the better field position and more attacking kicks but I can't fault our collective resolve to find something special to beat a good team."

St Helens are one of those five teams on nine points behind Huddersfield after a 52-18 defeat of Wakefield in which full-back Jonny Lomax recorded 28 points.

And Saints coach Nathan Brown believes the 22-year-old, who scored three tries and kicked eight goals, is only going to get better.

"He did well, he is doing very well and is only going to keep improving," said Brown. "He has got all the attributes to play that position very well."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130317/rugbyl-purtell-grabs-second-chance-after-heart-attack