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30th September 2001: Bradford 24 Wigan 18

Bradford Bulls v Wigan Warriors - Tetley's Super League VI Qualifying Play Off
Sunday 30th September 2001. Kick Off 6:35pm at Valley Parade

Bradford booked their place in Super League's Grand Final after a ferocious encounter against Wigan at Valley Parade on Sunday.

In a furiously-paced match, all of Bradford's points were scored by the brothers Paul.

Robbie scored two tries and Henry kicked eight goals to leave Wigan frustrated at the end of a superb encounter.

Wigan started the game poorly as the Bulls quickly racked up a 10-0 lead.

But an intercepted pass allowed Steve Renouf to throw Wigan a lifeline and when Kris Radlinski dived over, the Warriors were back in the match.

A third from David Hodgson after the break should have been enough for the visitors to draw level.

But poor discipline allowed Henry Paul to show his class with the boot and propel the Bulls into the Old Trafford final.

Henry Paul put his side ahead after only four minutes with a penalty, and went on to kick four from five attempts by half-time - but it was his younger brother who dominated the half.

The lightning-quick scrum-half made the visitors pay for a handling error from Wigan prop Harvey Howard by diving over for his first try on 11 minutes.

Henry extended the lead to 10-0 and his only miss at goal was with an ambitious attempt from half-way.

Bradford were then unlucky to have a try disallowed when Michael Withers beat Kris Radlinski to James Lowes' grubber kick.

The video referee ruled that Withers did not have control of the ball.

Wigan were penned inside their own half for most of the period, but pulled a try back on 25 minutes when Robbie Paul misjudged a pass and Steve Renouf intercepted and touched down.

Paul made amends six minutes later when a powerful burst from centre Scott Naylor took the Bulls back to where they spent most of the half and the skipper nipped in for his second try.

At that stage, Wigan would probably have settled for a 16-6 deficit going into the break.

But they claimed a much-needed bonus when Radlinski made amends for a number of uncharacteristic lapses by charging in for his 30th try of the season.

That cut the gap to just six and it would have been less had Farrell not missed with two awkward shots at goal.

As the weather deteriorated, so did both teams' handling and Wigan did not help their cause by losing their composure.

Paul made the Warriors pay for lapses in discipline with three further penalty goals to stretch the Bulls' lead to 22-10 by the 53rd minute.

Farrell pulled two points back with a penalty of his own and hooker Terry Newton twice went close to claiming tries as Wigan tried to get back into contention.

He clearly grounded the ball short of the line on one occasion and then failed to ground it properly after bundling Withers aside from dummy half.

Farrell then broke clear to send substitute winger Hodgson sliding over at the corner.

His touchline conversion brought Wigan tantalisingly close, but Bradford held on for the win.

Wigan must now beat reigning champions St Helens in next Saturday's final eliminator at the JJB Stadium to set up a rematch at Old Trafford.

Team Sheets

- Bradford Position Wigan -
5 Michael Withers Full Back Kris Radlinski 1
2 Tevita Vaikona Winger Brian Carney 5
20 Scott Naylor Centre Gary Connolly 4
23 Graham Mackay Centre Steve Renouf 3
3 Leon Pryce Winger Paul Johnson 15
6 Henry Paul Stand Off Matthew Johns 6
1 Robbie Paul Scrum Half Adrian Lam 7
8 Joe Vagana Prop Terry O'Connor 8
9 James Lowes Hooker Terry Newton 9
22 Brian McDermott Prop Harvey Howard 20
11 Daniel Gartner 2nd Row Mick Cassidy 11
19 Jamie Peacock 2nd Row Dave Furner 14
12 Mike Forshaw L.Forward Andy Farrell 13
-
7 Paul Deacon Substitute Neil Cowie 10
10 Paul Anderson Substitute Denis Betts 12
15 Shane Rigon Substitute Chris Chester 19
29 Stuart Fielden Substitute David Hodgson 23

Score Sheet

Bradford Bulls 24 --- Wigan Warriors 18
Tries:
Robbie Paul 2
--- Tries:
Steve Renouf
Kris Radlinski
Dave Hodgson
Goals:
Henry Paul 8
--- Goals:
Andy Farrell 3

Other Information

Attendance: 13,216

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