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Match Report: Bradford 14 Wigan 20
Posted by Bilko on July 19 2009 - 17:57

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Bradford Bulls v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XIV Round 21.
Sunday 19th July 2009. Kick Off 3:00pm at
Odsal Stadium.

Match Report

I thought Wigan made hard work of what could of been an easy victory this afternoon against a really disappointing Bradford side. Wigan weren't exactly firing on all cylinders in truth but I expected more from the Bulls because I think this defeat pretty much ends their season with play off rugby for them now looking far, far away. Wigan meanwhile have given themselves a cushion inside the top eight which is good with difficult matches against Leeds and St Helens to follow.

It was a pedestrian paced first half with Bradford probably being the side that deserved to take the lead. Michael Platt went close but Wigan's defence was awesome. They forced him to loose the ball over the line. Cameron Phelps almost scored for Wigan after a troublesome attacking kick from Thomas Leuluai but the posts got in his way.

Wigan though would take the lead on 22 minutes and it would be the Tomkins brothers who would combine. Sam sent his older brother Joel bursting through a gap to score under the sticks and the easy conversion for Pat Richards made it 6-0.

That was a lead that Wigan held to half time but only after more excellent defence and a forward pass call denied Bradford the chance to level.

Into the second half and it took Wigan six minutes to increase their lead. Leuluai hit Richards with a sharp pass to send him over and he converted to make it 12-0.

An Achilles' heal of Wigan currently is our failure to have the composure to close out games. Maybe it was too early to close the game out in fairness but Bradford never looked like breaking strong Wigan defence prior to that try from Richards.

But pressure will always tell and they seemed to go on a good 15 spell of dominating both possession and territory, Wigan helping them with failure to complete sets. (Apparently - the first 30 minutes of the 2nd half Bradford had 18 sets, Wigan had 9 - and 8 of the Wigan sets were in our own half)

That domination help them back in the game with 17 year old Loose Forward James Donaldson scoring from close range. Paul Deacon converted to make it 12-6.

I was thinking all Wigan need is another chance in attack and they will score and that did prove true but only after Bradford took the lead. First they equalised on 61 minutes when Full Back Dave Halley sent Chris Nero over in the corner, to which Deacon hit a beautiful conversion. Then he kicked a penalty goal to put Bradford ahead with 12 minutes to go.

That bloody irritating "woolly bully" music they play after each and every home goal was looking like it was signalling another regular season defeat at Odsal with the Bulls now leading 14-12 and time ticking. We had done very little attacking second half but you have to credit Wigan. It's two weeks in a row now they've comeback to win the game in the final minutes.

They retook the lead on 74 minutes when Joel Tomkins sent Martin Gleeson, playing his first match since the defeat at Celtic, over in the corner. Pat may have been seen practicing his kicking this week but it let him down on this occasion so our lead was a slender two point advantage.

It didn't really matter though because in the closing stages Amos Roberts sealed the result despite Pat failing to convert again. The 20-14 scoreline gave the Bulls slender hope and they tried a short kick off but it eventually came to nothing and the hooter eventually sounded to confirm Wigan's first regular season win at Odsal since 2005.

It is also the first time Wigan have won four league games in a row since late 2006 but it is important we continue this form against Leeds and St Helens to follow with the Cup Semi Final now lurking on the horizon. What I mean by that is late last season we had two home hammerings off Leeds and Saints - that's what we need to avoid. Ideally we want to beat them both but realistically that's a big ask especially with our injury problems. At the very least however we need to be giving both teams a game and then we can head into the semi final in great form.

Speaking of the cup semi, today's win was made sweeter with news of Warrington losing at nearby Huddersfield which made for a nice game of taunt the Wire fan on the way home as they passed our coach. Happy Days!

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "It was a good win considering what Bradford tried to do in the second half, they were a real handful. It shows the composure of the team, because they weren't giving it to us. We didn't get any ball in their half until the last eight minutes but we stuck in there and won another arm wrestle. That can only stand us in good stead for the end of the year. We just found enough at the right times. It can be a tough game because Bradford will probably feel they deserved to get something out of the game."

Bradford coach Steve McNamara: "I'm not interested in (the play offs) at this moment in time. I'm just interested in picking the side up and making sure we get some wins between now and the end of the season. We need to focus on that. I thought we had a slow start and we certainly had to defend well, but once we got through that period we improved throughout the game in extremely difficult conditions for both sides. I thought we played them very well for a large period - until we got our noses in front and threw the game away. We managed to fight our way in front and we should have held on."

Team Sheets

- Bradford Position Wigan -
26 Dave Halley Full Back Cameron Phelps 21
2 Rikki Sheriffe Winger Amos Roberts 2
11 Steve Menzies Centre Martin Gleeson 22
4 Chris Nero Centre George Carmont 4
1 Michael Platt Winger Pat Richards 5
3 Paul Sykes Stand Off Sam Tomkins 25
7 Paul Deacon Scrum Half Thomas Leuluai 7
10 Andy Lynch Prop Andy Coley 15
9 Terry Newton Hooker Mark Riddell 9
17 Nick Scruton Prop Paul Prescott 19
28 Elliott Whitehead 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 16
16 Michael Worrincy 2nd Row Phil Bailey 12
13 Jamie Langley L.Forward Joel Tomkins 14
-
8 Sam Burgess Substitute Darrell Goulding 3
14 Wayne Godwin Substitute Stuart Fielden 8
15 Matt Cook Substitute Iafeta Paleaaesina 10
30 James Donaldson Substitute Lee Mossop 24

Score Sheet

Bradford Bulls 14 --- Wigan Warriors 20
Tries (2):
James Donaldson
Chris Nero
--- Tries (4):
Joel Tomkins
Pat Richards
Martin Gleeson
Amos Roberts
Goals:
Paul Deacon 3/3
--- Goals:
Pat Richards 2/4

Scoring and Incident Pattern

22nd Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 04 Try: Joel Tomkins
- Bradford 00 Wigan 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
Half Time Bradford Bulls 00 Wigan Warriors 06
46th Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 10 Try: Pat Richards
- Bradford 00 Wigan 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
53rd Minute Bradford 04 Wigan 12 Try: James Donaldson
- Bradford 06 Wigan 12 Conversion: Paul Deacon (1/1)
61st Minute Bradford 10 Wigan 12 Try: Chris Nero
- Bradford 12 Wigan 12 Conversion: Paul Deacon (2/2)
68th Minute Bradford 14 Wigan 12 Penalty Goal: Paul Deacon (3/3)
74th Minute Bradford 14 Wigan 16 Try: Martin Gleeson
- Bradford 14 Wigan 16 P.Richards Missed Conversion (2/3)
78th Minute Bradford 14 Wigan 20 Try: Amos Roberts
- Bradford 14 Wigan 20 P.Richards Missed Conversion (2/4)
Full Time Bradford Bulls 14 Wigan Warriors 20

Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury)

Penalties Conceded

Bradford 7 Wigan 9

Match Attendance

9,487

Weather

Dull with Drizzly Rain at times. Heavy Pitch.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 14 Round 21

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 21 16 0 5 635 358 +277 32
2 Leeds Rhinos 21 16 0 5 579 357 +222 32
3 Huddersfield Giants 21 14 0 7 512 332 +180 28
4 Hull Kingston Rovers 21 12 1 8 490 410 +80 25
5 Wigan Warriors 21 11 0 10 510 419 +91 22
6 Wakefield Wildcats 21 11 0 10 499 495 +4 22
7 Castleford Tigers 21 11 0 10 476 517 -41 22
8 Harlequins 20 10 0 10 465 447 +18 20
9 Warrington Wolves 21 10 0 11 461 511 -50 20
10 Catalans Dragons 20 9 0 11 469 514 -45 18
11 Hull FC 21 9 0 12 412 496 -84 18
12 Bradford Bulls 20 6 1 13 428 544 -116 13
13 Salford City Reds 20 6 0 12 318 534 -216 12
14 Celtic Crusaders 21 3 0 18 295 615 -320 6

Round 21 Results
Fri 17 July Hull FC 22 Celtic Crusaders 6 10,397
Fri 17 July Leeds Rhinos 24 Hull Kingston Rovers 14 16,192
Fri 17 July St Helens 20 Wakefield Wildcats 22 8,651
Fri 17 July Salford City Reds 12 Castleford Tigers 18 3,487
Sun 19 July Bradford Bulls 14 Wigan Warriors 20 9,487
Sun 19 July Huddersfield Giants 28 Warrington Wolves 10 7,107
Sun 19 July Catalan Dragons 38 Harlequins 16 8,324

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