are on a roll now, and lets hope it doesn't stop what a weekend only us
won in the top five. Even Huddersfield have got more points in the last
two weeks than Saints. Here is the report on Friday Nights Top win for
A hat-trick from Kris Radlinski helped Wigan to a hard-fought 44-30 win over
Bradford as The Warriors moved within two points of The Bulls.
The Wigan full-back was at his inspirational best throughout while captain Andy
Farrell had a fault-less night with the boot as he landed eight goals from eight
The Warriors got off to the best possible start as with only two minutes on the
clock Paul Johnson burst through the Bradford defensive line - he off-loaded to
Terry Newton who in turn found Radlinski and he made sure it was a six point
score by going under the posts.
Controversially though the Bulls hit-back as referee Russell Smith wrongly gave
Bradford a scrum for an alleged Brett Dallas knock-on and from the set-piece
Michael Withers out-paced the home defence - Henry Paul, who also didn't miss
with the boot all night, added the extras.
A Farrell penalty then gave Wigan the lead before a ten minute period during
which defences were on top and mistakes were plentiful.
Wigan looked the more likely to trouble the scorers, as proved to be the case on
23 minutes when Adrian Lam found Brian Carney out wide and he easily out-paced
Tevita Vaikona before touching down and Farrell booted the conversion from
Bradford seemed to lose their composure and three minutes before the interval
Wigan looked to have put the game beyond the visitors when Newton's neat ball
out of the back door found Radlinski who went over.
However, Bradford are not top of Super League for no reason and right on the
half-time hooter Henry Paul found Paul Anderson six yards from the Wigan line
and the 20 stone pack ace bull-dozed his way over.
Henry Paul's successful conversion ensured a 20-12 half-time score-line.
Wigan nerves were though settled immediately after the restart as they soon
reasserted their advantage as the Bradford defence hung off the Wigan players as
the ball was worked along the line and Steve Renouf powered his way over almost
That seemed to knock the wind out of the Bradford sails and shortly after, the
game looked to be over once again as Harvey Howard's driving run created enough
space for Radlinski to run into - he collect the ball from the former Brisbane
ace and ran clear to claim his hat-trick.
The Bulls though hit-back as a loose pass during a Wigan attack was picked up by
Vaikona and he was never going to be caught by a wrong-footed Warriors defensive
That, combined with Henry Paul's conversion, reduced the arrears to 32-18 and
Bradford fought their way back to within striking distance moments later, but in
controversial circumstances. Brian McDermott plundered his way towards the Wigan
line, only to apparently be held up over it before touching down with what
looked a distinct second movement.
However, the video referee said the tackle had never been completed and awarded
the four points which soon became six.
The two sides then exchanged converted tries as first Wigan touched down through
David Furner and then The Bulls with Withers to leave the score delicately
poised at 38-30 until right on the hooter when Lam, Chris Chester and Furner all
combined the create a try for Denis Betts. Fittingly, Farrell booted the extras
to make it 44-30.
After the bruising encounter, man-of-the-match Radlinski refused to take the
plaudits as instead he chose to laud praise on his team-mates.
"All the lads were fantastic," he said. "We have a group of guys
who will do anything for each other - these guys would die for you."
Coach Stuart Raper was equally as delighted as his side completed back-to-back
wins over two of Super League's main challengers, St Helens and now Bradford.
"I am pretty happy, and I am proud of the guys," he said. "We
have had a tough couple of weeks - we didn't play to our potential, but it
didn't matter, we got the two points."
Bradford super Brian Noble was clearly unhappy following the final whistle -
putting the defeat down to his side's early errors.
"We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and were forever playing
catch-up," he said.