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13th April 2003: Wigan 22 Bradford 36
Posted by Bilko on January 31 2016 - 13:37

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Sunday 13th April 2003
Wigan Warriors 22 Bradford Bulls 36
McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield
Powergen Challenge Cup Semi Final

Kick Off: 2:00pm


- Wigan       - Bradford    
1 Kris Radlinski       6 Michael Withers    
5 Brian Carney  T      2 Tevita Viakona  T   
18 Martin Aspinwall       3 Leon Pryce    
14 David Hodgson       4 Shontayne Hape  T   
22 Shaun Briscoe       5 Lesley Vianikolo    
4 Paul Johnson       1 Robbie Paul    
7 Adrian Lam       7 Paul Deacon  T   G6 
8 Terry O'Connor       8 Joe Vagana    
9 Terry Newton  T      9 James Lowes  T   
10 Craig Smith       29 Stuart Fielden    
21 Ricky Bibey       18 Lee Radford  T2   
12 Danny Tickle    G5    12 Jamie Peacock    
23 Gareth Hock       13 Mike Forshaw    
15 Sean O'Loughlin       10 Paul Anderson    
16 Danny Sculthorpe  T      14 Lee Gilmour    
17 Mark Smith       15 Karl Pratt    
20 Luke Robinson       27 Rob Parker    


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."

Score Times: 
Wigan Warriors 22 --- Bradford Bulls 36

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


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

Danny Tickle 5

--- Goals:
Paul Deacon 6
Half Time:  Wigan 16 Bradford 12

Steve Ganson (St Helens)




2003 Challenge Cup Semi Finals

Saturday 12th April 2003
Leeds 33 St Helens 26 (After Extra Time - at Wigan - Live on BBC ONE)

Sunday 13th April 2003
Wigan 22 Bradford 36 (at Huddersfield - Live on BBC TWO)

2003 Challenge Cup Final

Saturday 26th April 2003
Bradford 22 Leeds 20 (at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff - Live on BBC ONE)

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