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 3rd Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants40 - 26Castleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8s
Leeds Rhinos18 - 32St Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8s
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8s
Warrington WolvesvsHull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8s
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8s
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8s
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8s
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8s
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8s
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 24th Sep - Super 8s
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
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.
- Kopczak walks out on Bulls
- 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