Sunday, 27 July 2014

Bradford Treble Stuns Wigan

Against a backdrop of glorious sunshine, Bradford and Wigan faced off in a stunning and memorable 80 minutes that sadly for the travelling Warriors had more negatives that positives.

Both sides had mixed starts but Bradford came closest to opening the scoring when Luke Gale's grubber kick out to the wing looked to worry the Wigan defence but they held firm and even responded well enough to take the lead themselves.

A fine pass from Matt Bowen saw him pick out Dom Manfredi out wide who raced down the wing to cross for the first try of the afternoon but a tough touchline kick from Matty Smith missed and meant Wigan led 0-4.

Wigan continued to pressurise the Bradford defence and did well enough to force the Bulls into a succession of goal-line dropouts but were unable to convert the opportunities into an end product but nearly paid for the lack of end product.

A superb set down the middle for Bradford resulted in Elliot Kear looking to have touched down in the corner but after a discussion between the officials, the try was denied but the set seemed to unnerve Wigan as a couple of mistakes on the Bradford 10 metre line and their own 10 metre line could have cost them dearly.

However, Bradford were soon level as they utilised the advantage of a penalty to sent a run of passes out wide to allow Danny Williams to cross for a try in the corner and with Luke Gale converting from long range, Bradford led 6-4.

Bradford increased their lead with five minutes left of the half as an horrendous error from Matt Bowen just in front of the Wigan line handed Bradford possession which resulted in a run and try from Joe Arundel with Luke Gale converting for a 12-4 lead.

Wigan came close to a perfect start to the second half when Matty Smith came achingly close to scoring a try but was denied by a strong effort from the Bradford defence and another Wigan chance went awry when Josh Charnley dropped the ball on the Bradford line with the chance to touchdown firmly in his sights.

Wigan's failure to reduce the deficit saw them fall further behind just after the hour mark as a clever pass from Joe Arundel reached Matty Blythe who touched down in the corner and a tough kick from the touchline from Luke Gale missed the target as Bradford led 16-4.

The visitors soon reduced the deficit when Dan Sarginson picked out Dom Manfredi out wide with the Winger racing over for his second try of the afternoon but a truly bizarre conversion attempt from Matty Smith left Wigan with work to do at they trailed 16-8.

The gap should have been reduced to four points when Jack Hughes had the chance to offload on the Bradford line but his pass failed to find a teammate and the move broke down but Wigan forced a goal-line dropout and gave themselves a great chance to stage a comeback but a knock-on with the line in sight dented their hopes.

Bradford capitalised on the mistake with Lee Gaskell racing clear towards the Wigan line but a superb chase and tackle from George Williams and Josh Charnley ensured that the Bradford attacker was held up over the line.

A number of chances for Wigan in the final minutes failed to dent the Bradford charge as the Bulls held on for a famous win and one that surely means they will avoid finishing bottom of the table while defeat for Wigan means they have lost all but one visit to Yorkshire this season with the exception being the win at Hull.