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25th August 1997: Bradford 18 Wigan 33

Bradford Bulls v Wigan Warriors - 1997 Super League II Round 21.
Monday 25th August 1997. Kick Off 3:00pm at Odsal Stadium.

Match Report from www.theboltonnews.co.uk

HOW fitting that the most successful side in RL history should deny the Bulls the first ever unbeaten season.

The champions were just two games short of finishing undefeated in the Super League season when they suffered a second-half panic attack which saw Wigan dramatically bounce back from an 18 points deficit to record a most unlikely win.

The Warriors produced their best second-half display of the season with their confidence building by the minute - a far cry from recent unsatisfactory displays.

At the helm was 'captain fantastic' Andy Farrell who as usual had a hand in almost every move and was once again supported by Jason Robinson, whose dazzling running tore open the Bulls defence.

Robinson said that when Wigan were down something had to be done: "You couldn't just stand back, we had to turn it around. We have not been playing our best but we wanted to stop the Bulls going through the season unbeaten and it was just the incentive we needed.".

For coach Eric Hughes it was a superb result following a string of indifferent performances.

"It has been a difficult season but I know we have professionals who can rise to the occasion. We stepped it up and had more urgency and it was the Bulls who were panicking at the end."

A first minute try by Jon Scales was quickly followed by two more from James Lowes and Bernard Dwyer and with Steve McNamara adding three goals the writing seemed on the wall for shaky Wigan.

But just on the stroke of half-time Robinson cut inside and raced 40 metres to score and with Farrell adding the goal there was a slight chance of a comeback.

But the Warriors must have surprised themselves with the way they took hold of the game in the second-half when first Henry Paul jinked his way over followed by Robinson racing through again to score. Farrell added both goals.

Their third try came in the space of 10 minutes when Andy Johnson cut inside and Gary Connolly raced away leaving Farrell to add the goal. Incredibly Wigan were ahead and four minutes from time Neil Cowie sealed the game when he charged over from a Farrell break and the skipper added the goal and a drop goal.

It was Cowie's third try of the season but the one he enjoyed the most.

"It is always nice for one of the forwards to score but today's was very special. We had everything to play for and we produced a much better game with more intensity and played with patience."

Wigan now entertain Leeds Rhinos on Friday knowing a win will secure a top four spot.

Wigan: Robinson, Johnson A, Radlinski, Connolly, Ellison, Paul, Murdock, Cowie, Hall, Hansen, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Clarke (for Hall 26), Holgate (for Cowie 31), Tallec (for Cassidy 52), Cowie (for Hansen 60), Cassidy (for Tallec 75), Johnson P (for Radlinski 19).

Bradford Bulls 18   Wigan Warriors 33
Jonathan Scales
James Lowes
Bernard Dwyer
Tries Jason Robinson (2)
Henry Paul
Gary Connolly
Neil Cowie
Steve McNamara (3)
Goals Andy Farrell (6)
  Field Goals Andy Farrell

Other Information

Attendance: 16,761

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