Witt magic shocks Bulls
Witt stars as Crusaders shock in-form Bradford at Murrayfield
Last Updated: 01/05/10 4:12pm
Witt: Magic display
Michael Witt's wizardry helped the Crusaders shock in-form Bradford in the opening match of the Engage Super League Magic Weekend.
The stand-off ran in two first-half tries and kicked three goals and a conversion as the Welsh side beat the Bulls 19-0 at Murrayfield.
His 15 point haul - combined with a late try from impressive debutant Jarrod Sammut - ended in-form Bradford's six-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Coach Brian Noble masterminded the victory over his former club as the Wrexham-based Crusaders registered their fifth win of the campaign.
The Welsh side's determined defence also had a big say in proceedings as Bradford were 'nilled' for the first time in four years.
Cheered on by a healthy following at a ground less than half full, the Bulls started well with Paul Sykes and Chris Nero making good breaks.
But the Crusaders held firm and Vince Mellars had an opportunity for the Welsh side but was unable to take a high kick, while Witt went close to gathering his own clever chip for a try.
Rugby union legend Gareth Thomas then pegged the Bulls back with a good break from deep.
The Bulls recovered but were stung by the former Wales captain again as he set off on a charge after he had plucked a Matt Orford kick out of the air close to his own line.
The veteran - on the ground where he once won a Grand Slam and the Heineken Cup - raced 70 metres before eventually being caught but Nick Youngquest took up the attack and sent Witt over for the opener.
Sykes was twice denied as Bradford sought a reply before Witt further extended the Crusaders' lead after taking a pass from the newly-introduced Sammut to land a drop goal three minutes before the break.
He then notched his second try on the stroke of the interval after Mellars had claimed the half-back's kick and put him over for.
Former Penrith scrum-half Sammut then almost put Rhys Hanbury over with a smart pass but Craig Kopczak produced a fine tackle.
In a tight opening to the second period, the Crusaders were also strong in defence and continually rebuffed the Bulls.
Steve McNamara's side then suffered a blow just before the hour when the inspirational Orford was forced off following a heavy blow.
But a stroke of fortune presented Bradford with a way back into the game when a Steve Menzies kick bounced back infield and Rikki Sheriffe was able to kick further downfield.
Thomas then knocked on under pressure from Heath L'Estrange but the Bulls failed to take advantage as Kopczak dropped a pass 10 metres out.
Brett Kearney then gathered a Menzies offload to go over in the corner but video referee Stuart Cummings ruled he had lost possession before touching down.
It was a costly miss and Sammut put the game beyond the Bulls with a brilliant piece of play eight minutes from time.
The debutant did well to take a pass at the second attempt and then chased after his own kick.
He benefited from a kind bounce but broke through a tackle to crash over, with Witt adding his third conversion to put the seal on victory.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K RvsSalford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves