Brave Bulls stun Wigan
Leaders let slip a 10-0 lead as they slump to shock defeat
Last Updated: 30/06/12 3:15pm
Bradford produced the shock result of the season to date with a 30-22 victory at Super League leaders Wigan.
The Warriors had hooker Michael McIlorum sent off on 55 minutes for punching and the visitors scored the all-important try with a man advantage against a side playing their second game in five days - but there was no doubt this was a victory for the Bulls' survival spirit.
The Bradford team cast aside the uncertainty caused by the club's grave financial troubles to produce a display of true courage and commitment.
Former Wigan winger Karl Pryce scored two of the Bulls' five tries to take the gloss off a tryscoring debut by the Warriors' 20-year-old full-back Jack Murphy.
There was little hint of the drama to come when Wigan took the lead after just three minutes, with Gareth Hock offloading from the tackle to free up centre George Carmont and winger Anthony Gelling finishing off the slick move.
The Bulls were down to 12 men when Pryce was sin-binned for holding down Darrell Goulding in the tackle to prevent a quick play-the-ball and the home side extended their lead in his absence through Murphy.
The youngster enjoyed a moment to cherish when he burst clean through the tackle of full-back Brett Kearney on halfway and eluded another ex-Wigan winger, Shaun Ainscough, to score a 50-metre try.
Josh Charnley's goal made it 10-0 after 15 minutes and the Warriors had chances to establish a bigger lead, with loose forward Liam Farrell twice producing clean breaks which came to nothing.
The Bulls were in no mood to roll over, though, and they took the lead with two tries in 10 minutes.
Scrum-half Luke Gale combined superbly with Kearney and Jarrod Sammut to send Pryce in for his eighth try of the season before centre Keith Lulia broke free down the left wing and got the supporting Kearney over.
Gale kicked both conversions to make it 12-10 and, although Sean O'Loughlin's short pass close to the line enabled back rower Ben Flower to score his first try for Wigan on his first appearance since March, the Yorkshiremen regained the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Their determination to keep the ball alive had the Wigan defence backpedalling and, after Michael Platt had switched the point of attack, prop Tom Burgess tore down the middle before working the ball out wide for Lulia to finish off a glorious move.
The teams had to cope with steady drizzle at the start of the second half but Wigan forced two goal-line drop-outs and the pressure paid off on 51 minutes when replacement prop Dom Crosby went through a gap in the Bradford defence to register his first Super League try.
Charnley's third goal made it 22-18 but the Warriors were reduced to 12 men for the last 25 minutes when McIlorum was sent off for swinging a punch at Elima.
That gave the Bulls all the encouragement they needed and they drew level for the third time with 10 minutes to go when second rower Elliott Whitehead jinked his way over for their fourth try.
Gale maintained his composure to land his fourth goal to nudge his side back in front and, although Bradford lost Sammut with a leg injury, they clinched victory when Charnley made a mess of Gale's crossfield kick to present Pryce with his second try and silence a stunned crowd of 19,628 at the DW Stadium.
First Utility Super League
Thu 26th Mar
Salford Red Devils36 - 8Widnes Vikings
Fri 27th Mar
Castleford Tigers20 - 14Hull FC
Hull K R24 - 22St Helens
Warrington Wolves10 - 29Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors52 - 10Wakefield Wildcats
Sat 28th Mar
Catalans Dragons22 - 38Leeds Rhinos
Thu 2nd Apr
Hull FCvsHull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 3rd Apr
Castleford TigersvsLeeds Rhinos
Wigan WarriorsvsSt Helens
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Mon 6th Apr
Warrington WolvesvsCastleford Tigers
Hull K R0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Wigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Catalans DragonsvsWidnes Vikings
Fri 10th Apr
Hull FCvsWidnes Vikings
Sat 11th Apr
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Castleford TigersvsHull K R
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0St Helens
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan WarriorsvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St HelensvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Bulls in crisis
Paul Cullen told Boots that if Bradford can't afford to survive then they can't be a part of Super League.
Bulls boss Francis Cummins tells Boots he feared he would have to find a new profession.
Bradford businessman Omar Khan has had his takeover of the Bulls ratified by the Rugby Football League.
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- Potter: I'll stay without pay
- Sutcliffe fires Bulls warning
- Bulls deal done - Khan
- Langley - SL needs the Bulls
- Four bids for Bulls
- Bulls wage delay played down
- Deadline for Bulls buyers
- Bulls boosted by City bid
- Bulls' debt revealed
- Potter - Players frustrated
- SLE makes Bulls offer
- Fans' fund for Bradford
- New offer rejected
- Coulby calls for clarity
- Revised bid lodged for Bulls
- Potter rules out Broncos
- Further twist for Bulls
- Points deduction for Bradford
- Wolves to help out Bulls
- Cummins considering options
- ABC submit Bulls bid
- Guilfoyle expecting Bulls bid
- ABC plan ground-breaking model
- Guilfoyle retains Bulls hope
- Clubs support Bulls aid
- Potter wants to return home