Super League: Bradford Bulls suffered heavy defeat to Warrington Wolves
Last Updated: 29/06/14 5:55pm
Warrington made it a miserable start for new Bulls coach Jimmy Lowes in his first match after taking over from sacked Francis Cummins.
The Wolves ran in nine tries in a 50-24 win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to make amends for their shock Super League defeat at Bradford in May.
Gareth O'Brien, back from a loan stint at Swinton, was outstanding for Warrington with a brace of tries with Joel Monaghan also notching two touchdowns in their biggest Super League win of the season.
The defeat leaves Bradford nine points behind third from bottom Salford with only nine Super League games remaining - and adds more importance to the Bulls' High Court appeal against a six-point deduction by the Rugby Football League for going into administration for the second time in 18 months.
Lowes welcomed Brett Kearney back after a two-month injury absence as the Bulls aimed to repeat their surprise home win over the Wolves - Warrington's last defeat before starting a seven match winning sequence.
The Wolves recent glory run includes a 46-10 Challenge Cup quarter final romp at Bradford earlier this month, Kearney suffered a broken hand in that 34-28 win over Warrington on May 4 with Lowes calling up Adam Henry to replace Alex Mellor and leaving out Luke George and Jamal Fakir.
Warrington were missing Chris Bridge, Chris Hill, Trent Waterhouse, Richie Myler, Michael Monaghan and Ben Evans with Anthony England and 19 year old debutant George King drafted into the line-up.
Bradford made a lively start until a dropped ball by Luke Gale gave Warrington the initiative with Ben Harrison plunging over after O'Brien was stopped short but Ratchford hit the post with the straightforward conversion attempt.
Warrington were 10-0 up after seven minutes with Mickey Higham's midfield surge allowing Ryan Atkins to plunge over from O'Brien's teasing kick.This time Ratchford made no mistake.
The Bulls had lost on their previous five visits to Warrington and another defeat looked inevitable when O'Brien took Ratchford's inside pass to make it 16-0 after 13 minutes.
The Wolves brought on King for his debut after 28 minutes with Harrison enjoying a breather.
Evans spilled a Simon Grix pass to squander a chance before a probing Adam O'Brien run gave Bradford a rare chance to attack.
The Bulls finally got themselves on the scoresheet five minutes before the break with Kearney supporting Lee Gaskell's half break to round Matty Russell in style with Gale's conversion cutting the gap to 16-6.
Kearney went close to bagging a second try as Bradford recovered from their poor start with an improved shop but the Wolves hung onto a ten point interval lead.
But Kearney was outjumped by Joel Monaghan from Ratchford's kick almost straight from the restart for the centre to score for his fifth match in a row and extend the lead to 22-6.
Skipper Westwood took Higham's pass to stretch over from short range and virtually end the Bulls hopes after 45 minutes.
Monaghan grabbed his second courtesy of O'Brien's unselfishness from Ratchford's incisive break to stretch the advantage to 34-6, with three tries in five minutes.
O'Brien was again involved in the build up to Gene Ormsby's 50th minute try as the Bulls fell apart.
Adrian Purtell did manage a solo try for Bradford on the hour before Adam Sidlow's dropped pass tossed away another chance.
O'Brien shot over for his second try after 65 minutes with Gale then wasting another opportunity for the Bulls.
Ratchford and Atkins then created a try for Rhys Evans as Warrington ran up their biggest Super League score of the season.
The hard-working Olbison burst through for Bradford's third try six minutes from time before Gaskell's kick brought a late effort for Jay Pitts to give the scoreline more respectability.