Friday 5th July 2013, 20:00
Super League - Round: 21
Josh Charnley 2, Chris Tuson 2, Iain Thornley,
Michael Platt, Adam Sidlow, John Bateman,
Pat Richards 3,
Jamie Foster 4,
Attendance: 13,213 Official: T Roby Venue: DW Stadium
Full Time Report
Wigan Warriors 26-20 Bradford Bulls
Shaun Wane's Wigan side staged a late fightback to clinch a dramatic 26-20 victory over the Bradford Bulls in their Super League clash at the DW Stadium.
The league leaders needed four late tries to emerge victorious, the last of them coming in the final seconds from Chris Tuson, his second, as Bradford were cruelly denied at the death, despite their Herculean effort in both attack and defence.
Things started well for the Warriors as they hit the front on two minutes thanks in no small measure to Ryan Hampshire, as he steamed through a gap before sending Iain Thornley clear who linked up with Josh Charnley for the games opening try.
Pat Richards missed the difficult conversion and the Bulls were not behind for long as, just like Wigan, they scored with their first proper attack of the game; Jamie Foster and Sam Wood, making his Super League debut combined to send in Michael Platt, Foster duly adding the extras for a 6-4 lead.
The Bulls now had the upper hand after a 40/20 from Luke Gale, and when Hampshire failed to hold a Gale bomb, Adam Sidlow was on hand to charge over the line to score his fourth try of the season and the Bulls' second try of the night.
John Bateman, who arguably produced his finest eighty minutes of the season to date, then saw off the attention of three Wigan defenders to touch down from dummy half as the Bulls cruised into a 16-4 half-time lead.
On the restart the Bulls extended their lead after being awarded a penalty deep in Wigan's half following a destructive 40 metre run from Nick Scruton, Foster accepting a long-range chance from 35-metres out with the boot.
Wigan finally broke the Bulls' resolve down in the 65th minute when from a scrum deep inside the Bulls' half, Hampshire popped up on the right to send Charnley over for his second try of the night.
The cherry and white of Wigan were showing more urgency now and they made it two tries in as many minutes as Farrell broke clean up the middle before sending out the pass for Tuson to race away from 40 metres and score under the posts. Richards making no mistake with the boot as they trailed 18-14 with 10 minutes to go.
However, from the restart a Wigan knock-on deep in their own half looked like undoing all of their hard work and Michael McIlorum was penalised for a spear tackle, Foster slotting over another penalty from 20 metres out to put the Bulls in front by six points.
But back came the Warriors and they crossed the Bulls' try-line for a fourth time as Thornley juggled a ball from Hampshire before touching down to put them two points behind. A composed Pat Richards slotting the extras as the game was now tied at 20-20 with two minutes to play.
The momentum was well and truly with Wigan now, and after the officials pulled the Bulls up for a forward pass, Tuson burst his way up the middle to score the winning try with just ten seconds remaining on the clock, Richards converting with the Hooter sounding in the background to seal a famous 26-20 win.
Francis Cummins reflected on the performance, saying: ""Sometimes you feel that you don't get what you deserve and that's exactly how I feel right now, we've got eight men injured out of a 26-man squad and tonight has been the best performance from us for a long time, everyone was playing for one another.
"We know that when you come to Wigan that you're going to be given a tough time, but I'm really pleased we stood up, putting our hand up, making ourselves counted with a grity and determined performance. I've got a devastated dressing room, however I've told the boys how proud I am of tonight's performance and not to feel ashamed as it's something that we can use to build on for the final six games of the season."
Wigan Warriors: Hampshire, Charnley, Thornley, Gelling, Richards, Green, Smith, Crosby, McIlorum, Dudson, Hansen, Farrell, Tuson, Hughes, Powell, Flower, Tomkins.
Bradford Bulls: Foster, Kear, Purtell, Platt, Wood, Addy, Gale, Scruton, Diskin, Manuokafoa, Bateman, Blythe, Donaldson, L'Estrange, Sidlow, Evans, Roberts.
Half-Time: Wigan 4-16 Bradford
Penalties: Wigan 7-6 Bradford
Referee: Tim Roby