Sunday 27th July 2014, 15:00
Super League - Round: 22
Danny Williams, Joe Arundel, Matty Blythe,
Dom Manfredi 2,
Luke Gale 2,
Attendance: 6,535 Official: R Hicks Venue: Provident Stadium, Odsal
Full Time Report
BRADFORD BULLS overcame an early try to record a thoroughly-deserved 16-8 victory over defending Super League champions Wigan Warriors this afternoon.
James Lowes' men made a stunning start to the round twenty-two tie, as the sun shone on the Provident Stadium, and had three glorious opportunities to open their account.
It was the visitors who drew first blood, though, helping themselves into a slender lead.
But that was as good as it got for the Shaun Wane's side – prior to the interval – as the hosts rallied to lead 12-4 at half-time.
The Bulls began the second half as they finished the first, but the second period remained scoreless up until the hour mark.
The two sides traded blows in the final quarter, setting up a tense climax, though it was Bradford who held on to send the Bull faithful into raptures as the hooter sounded for full-time.
A succession of early penalties handed The General's Bulls a trio of opportunities to open their account.
But they were left frustrated by a solid Warriors backline, which led to Matty Bowen sending Dom Manfredi over in the corner to score an unconverted try.
Bradford bounced back shortly after, though, as Adam Henry sent Danny Williams across the whitewash for his try in Bulls colours – just moments after Matty Blythe had a score ruled out by the man in the middle.
It soon got better for the home side too, as quick thinking from a scrum saw hooker Adam O’Brien put Joe Arundel into space for a clear run to the line.
A pair of successful Luke Gale conversions ensured Bradford's eight-point advantage at the break.
The second period proved a cagey affair, with neither the Bulls or Warriors taking full control.
Blythe made amends having had an earlier effort chalked off, however, 60 minutes in.
Quick hands and impeccable skill from Jay Pitts and fellow on-loan Black and White Joe Arundel worked an opening for the former Warrington man – and ultimately sealed the Warriors' fate.
Dom Manfredi responded 11 minutes from time, pouncing on a loose ball to bag his second of the afternoon.
But it was the Bulls who held firm to seal win number five of the season and Lowes' first since taking charge last month, with the prospect of a mouth-watering West Yorkshire derby against arch-rivals Leeds Rhinos on the horizon.
BULLS: Brett Kearney, Elliot Kear, Adam Henry, Joe Arundel, Danny Williams, Lee Gaskell, Luke Gale, Manase Manuokafoa, Adam O’Brien, Jamal Fakir, Tom Olbison, Jay Pitts, James Donaldson. Subs: Adam Sidlow, Alex Mellor, Matty Blythe, Danny Addy
TRIES: Williams (28), Arundel (34), Blythe (60)
GOALS: Gale 2/3
WARRIORS: Matty Bowen, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Dan Sarginson, Dom Manfredi, George Williams, Matty Smith, Ben Flower, Sam Powell, Dom Crosby, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Sean O’Loughlin. Subs: Scott Taylor, Jack Hughes, Tony Clubb, Ryan Sutton
TRIES: Manfredi (9, 67)
GOALS: Smith 0/2
REFEREE: Robert Hicks