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 21st May
Castleford Tigers16 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC10 - 17St Helens
Leeds Rhinos36 - 16Hull K R
Salford Red Devils18 - 34Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans Dragons58 - 16Wigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Warrington WolvesvsCatalans Dragons
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
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 R0 - 0Hull 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
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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