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13th April 2003: Bradford 36 Wigan 22
Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls Powergen Challenge Cup Semi Final
Sunday 13th April. Kick Off 2:00pm at McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield.
CherryandWhite.co.uk Match Report by Rebecca Smith
Gallant display in defeat

The end result may well be what most people had predicted but the performance of the severely depleted Wigan team surprised even the most optimistic Warriors fan.

The injury ravaged side defended above their weight and experience before eventually succumbing to the Bulls in the second half.

The defeat, Wigan's first in a Challenge Cup semi-final for 35 years, sets up a mouth-watering all Yorkshire final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium a week on Saturday.

The Warriors fought back from 12-2 behind to take a 16-12 lead by half-time. But the youngsters just couldn't keep it up in the second forty when the Bulls stepped up the pace and ran in four tries.

Danny Tickle opened the scoring with a penalty after 13 minutes but the Wigan lead was short-lived. James Lowes eventually found his way over the whitewash after some commendable line defence from Wigan. On the fifth tackle the former GB star touched down his own short kick and Deacon converted.

Wigan didn't help themselves by kicking the ball out on the full at the re-start

In the subsequent attack man-mountain Paul Anderson thought he had scored but the video referee ruled he was just short. On the fifth tackle Lowes kicked out to the left wing and after a scramble Lee Radford got hand to ball just before the dead ball line. Again Deacon was accurate with the conversion.

A Tickle penalty gave Wigan another two points and a stunning try from Terry Newton brought the Warriors right back into contention. The hooker was on the end of a superb handling move which involved O'Loughlin, Aspinwall, Lam and Radlinski.

He then turned creator when his short kick into the in-goal from dummy half was read perfectly by Danny Sculthorpe. Tickle successfully converted both.

A dubious try within four minutes of the re-start brought Bradford level. The video referee (Ray Tennant) was again called for and concluded that centre Shontayne Hape grounded the ball before his foot went into touch.

Deacon's magnificent touchline conversion nudged the Bulls back in front and they never looked back.

Radford scored his second try on 53 minutes and tries soon followed from Paul Deacon and Tevita Vaikona before Brian Carney got one back for Wigan.

Wigan went into the game without Farrell, Cassidy, Ainscough Wild and Dallas and five of the starters, including Tickle, had pain killing injections before the match.

But alarmingly the terrible injury situation looks set to get worse before it gets better.

Kris Radlinski was rushed to hospital in an ambulance after injuring his neck going for a loose ball in the second half. David Hodgson dislocated his shoulder and Craig Smith is thought to have broken a finger.

Coach Stuart Raper was justifiably proud of the display. He said: "We played some good footie just before half-time to put us in front but a couple of calls went against us and we didn't react quick enough.

"The guys hung in there but we were just not good enough on the day."

His thoughts quickly turned to the Good Friday clash against the old enemy and other beaten semi-finalists, St Helens. Both teams will be desperate to get back to winning ways after three straight losses. Raper said: "We're battered but we've got to lift for Friday. It's tough but we'll battle on."

Team Sheets

Warriors

 

Bulls

No.
Player
Pos No.
Player
1 Kris Radlinski Full Back 6 Michael Withers
5 Brian Carney Wing 2 Tevita Viakona
18 Martin Aspinwall Centre 3 Leon Pryce
14 David Hodgson Centre 4 Shontayne Hape
22 Shaun Briscoe Wing 5 Lesley Vianikolo
4 Paul Johnson Stand Off 1 Robbie Paul
7 Adrian Lam Scrum Half 7 Paul Deacon
10 Craig Smith Prop 8 Joe Vagana
9 Terry Newton Hooker 9 James Lowes
8 Terry O'Connor Prop 29 Stuart Fielden
21 Ricky Bibey 2nd Row 18 Lee Radford
12 Danny Tickle 2nd Row 12 Jamie Peacock
23 Gareth Hock L.Forward 13 Mike Forshaw
         
15 Sean O'Loughlin Sub 10 Paul Anderson
16 Danny Sculthorpe Sub 14 Lee Gilmour
17 Mark Smith Sub 15 Karl Pratt
20 Luke Robinson Sub 27 Rob Parker
Score Sheet
Wigan Warriors   22-36   Bradford Bulls

Tries:
Terry Newton (37)
Danny Sculthorpe (39)
Brian Carney (74)

 

Tries:
James Lowes (18)
Lee Radford 2 (29, 53)
Shontayne Hape (43)
Paul Deacon (56)
Tevita Viakona (64)

Goals:
Danny Tickle 5

  Goals:
Paul Deacon 6
Match Info

Half Time: 16-12 Wigan
Match Attendance: 15,359
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens)
Cherry and White.co.uk Man of the Match: Terry Newton

Alternative Match Reports
Lowes the key as Bulls win through to Cardiff - Bradford redamberandblack.com
Bradford book final spot - BBC Online
Bulls set up all Yorkshire final - Sky Sports
Bradford burst sinks brave Wigan - Press Association
Bulls set up derby final - superleague.co.uk
Lowes the veteran grinds down Wigan resistance - The Independent
Bradford refocus to overpower holders - The Times
Lowes sets Bulls on the charge to Cardiff - The Guardian
Bulls to meet Leeds at cup final - rleague.com
Wigan show signs of what they are capable of - wiganrl.com

 

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