Bulls make Saints suffer
Bradford finally triumph on home soil at the fourth attempt
Last Updated: 17/03/12 7:59pm
Bradford condemned St Helens to their worst league run for 23 years with a hard-fought 12-8 victory at a rain-soaked Odsal Stadium.
Tries from Elliott Whitehead and Karl Pryce, both from kicks by Ben Jeffries, gave the Bulls their first home triumph of the season at the fourth attempt.
In contrast, Saints are in a major slump and have now taken just one point from their last five outings, leaving them sitting outside the top eight.
The absences of James Roby, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Sia Soliola did not help, though Bradford were without no fewer than nine first-teamers themselves.
A deluge at the start of the game made playing conditions difficult for both sets of players, meaning the first points didn't arrive until the 21st minute.
Paul Wellens' break set up the position for second rower Andrew Dixon to cross for their first try, although home fans were convinced there was a forward pass in the build-up after several views on the big screen.
The Bulls had a score by promising forward John Bateman ruled out by video referee Steve Ganson for a double movement but deservedly went in front seven minutes before the break courtesy of a rare eight-point try.
Pryce managed to get a foot to Jeffries' kick, pushing the ball over the line for Whitehead to pounce. The second rower got a kick to the head for his troubles from Saints winger Jamie Foster, resulting in referee Richard Silverwood awarding a penalty.
Paul Sykes kicked the bonus two points after landing the conversion to give Mick Potter's understrength side a narrow 8-4 advantage at the break.
It took them just two minutes to add to their lead in the second half, Foster carelessly hoping a kick by Jeffries would run dead only to see the sizeable presence of Pryce nip in to gather and finish in the corner.
Things then went from bad to worse for Foster when he was sin-binned on 55 minutes for interference and tempers became frayed when Bradford forward Olivier Elima was penalised for an off-the-ball push on Lee Gaskell.
It was typical of Saints' miserable evening that they failed to find touch with the penalty and their last chance to get back in the game disappeared.
Only a superb tackle by Wellens, a rare bright spot on an otherwise bleak evening for the visitors, denied Jeffries a try, while the full-back could only watch on as Tony Puletua dropped his pass at the other end of the field.
Saints did manage to cross again when Francis Meli torched his way down the left touchline before sliding over in the corner.
It came, however, too late to save Royce Simmons' side from another reverse. The fixture list gets no easier either - they host in-form Leeds next weekend in a repeat of last year's Grand Final.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield 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