SUNDAY’S clash at Odsal renews an emerging rivalry in rugby league between York City Knights and Bradford Bulls.

The two clubs battled it out for automatic promotion from Betfred League One in 2018, a contest in which York eventually prevailed by pipping Bradford to top spot by just two points on the final day of the league season.

The Knights, who lost just two league games all season, went on an incredible 15-game winning streak to ensure a return to the Betfred Championship.

That unbeaten run included an unforgettable and arguably season-defining 30-28 victory at Odsal.

James Ford’s side raced out the blocks to take an astonishing 24-0 lead after less than half an hour.

Bradford fought back with three converted tries in just five minutes to trail by only six points. But a long-distance intercept score from Judah Mazive shortly after ensured that the Knights had done enough to win by a tight margin.

The epic victory provided some revenge to an equally enthralling 22-20 win that Bradford secured at Bootham Crescent in the opening round through a last-second Joe Keyes penalty goal from 45m out.

High-intensity contests between the two sides have not been limited to solely the League One fixtures though, with York completing the double over the Bulls in the 2019 Championship season.

After winning 24-14 at Odsal early in the season, York took a huge step to eventually securing a third-placed finish by edging past Bradford 25-24 in the reverse fixture.

A drop goal from Connor Robinson with just two minutes remaining handed the points to the Knights in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Nearing two years on from that encounter, both sides have seen plenty of changes in their personnel.

Bradford in particular have seen a number of players depart, the majority of them to Betfred Super League clubs.

The likes of Joe Keyes, Elliot Minchella, Ethan Ryan, Matty Storton and Matty Wildie have all joined top-flight clubs.

Despite the mass exodus of players, head coach John Kear has done some shrewd business through the off-season and during this current campaign.

Ahead of the season, he brought in veteran half-back Danny Brough (who played for York City Knights in the early part of his career) and Huddersfield Giants back rower Aaron Murphy.

In the early stages of this year, Kear has also brought in loanees Ellis Robson and Mitieli Vulikijapani from Warrington Wolves and Hull FC respectively.

Earlier this week, the Bulls also moved to loan in forward Oliver Wilson, a former Bulls Academy man, and former Leeds Rhinos full-back Ashton Golding, both from Huddersfield.

Those loan additions should add to a side which is on a great run of form, having won five league games in a row.

Perhaps most impressive of those was at London Broncos last week, when they won 33-8 in the capital.

Bradford Bulls squad: Brough, Brown, Burton, Crossley, Doyle, B. England, B. Evans, R. Evans, Fleming, Gallagher, Golding, Jowitt, Lilley, Murphy, Oakes, Pickersgill, Robson, Scurr, Vulikijapani, Walker, Wilson.