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11th April 1997: Wigan 18 Bradford 22

Wigan v Bradford - 1997 Super League II Round 6.
Friday 11th April 1997. Kick Off 7:30pm at Central Park.

Match Report from www.theboltonnews.co.uk

Wigan have already dropped more points than in the whole of last season and although the competition is now much tighter their title dreams look in tatters.

A win last night was vital and looked on the cards with 10 minutes remaining, but the Bulls' late charge saw them grab two tries and the honours to retain their unbeaten tag.

But, with Saints slipping up 13-12 at Leeds, the championship looks the most open in living memory, with seven teams quite capable of mounting an effective challenge.

"It's what the game has been crying out for for a long time," said coach Eric Hughes, whose sombre mood was in contrast to the relief he showed seven days earlier following Wigan's 17-16 win at Leeds.

"It really is a tight competition. We showed we're capable of turning anybody over on our day. We got into a winning position and it went against us. Last week it went for us, that's sport.

"The game was on a knife edge but as fatigue set in we made a couple of errors and it cost us dearly." It was a pulsating game with the lead constantly changing hands. Wigan crossed for their first try when Simon Haughton pushed off Sonny Nickle and raced over on the half hour and Andy Farrell, who had earlier kicked a penalty, added the goal.

The lead was shortlived as five minutes later slick handling put Danny Peacock over and Paul Cook goaled to add to two earlier penalties.

Cook added another penalty in the second-half but the sides were all-square when Haughton scored his second try with another block-busting run.

With 13 minutes remaining the battling Warriors thought they had clinched the two points when Farrell put Tony Smith over for his first try for the club and Farrell goaled, but the Bulls hit back. They stretched the Wigan defence and Peacock and Matt Calland both raced over out wide and Cook added a goal to inflict on Wigan their first consecutive home league defeat for nine years.

Wigan: Robinson, Johnson, Connolly, Radlinski, Cardiss, Smith, Murdock, Holgate, Cassidy, O'Connor, Haughton, Tallec, Farrell. Subs: Murray (for Murdock 67), Wright (for Haughton 67), Baynes (for O'Connor 28), Hall (for Cassidy 50), O'Connor (for Baynes 50).


Wigan Warriors 22   Bradford Bulls 18
Simon Haughton (2)
Tony Smith
Tries Danny Peacock (2)
Matt Calland
Andy Farrell (3)
Goals Paul Cook (5)

Other Information

Attendance: 10,710

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