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Super League: Wigan staged a late fightback to clinch a dramatic 26-20 victory over Bradford
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Wigan staged a late fightback to clinch a dramatic 26-20 victory over Bradford in their Super League clash at the DW Stadium.
The hosts needed four late tries to emerge victorious, the last of them coming in the final minute from Chris Tuson, his second, as Bradford were cruelly denied at the death.
Things started well for the Warriors as they hit the front on two minutes thanks in no small measure to Ryan Hampshire, who was standing in for full-back Sam Tomkins, as he steamed through a gap before sending Iain Thornley clear who linked up with Josh Charnley for the opening try.
Pat Richards missed the 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 combined to send in Michael Platt, Foster tagged on the extras for a 6-4 lead.
Bradford had the upper hand and when Hampshire failed to hold a Luke Gale bomb, Adam Sidlow was on hand to score and John Bateman then saw off the attention of three Wigan defenders to touch down as the Bulls cruised into half time 16-4 ahead.
On the restart the Bulls extended their lead after being awarded a penalty deep in Wigan's half following a superb 40 metre run from Nick Scruton, Foster accepting a long-range chance with the boot.
Wigan finally broke the visitors down in the 64th minute when Hampshire again popped up on the right and he sent in Charnley for his second try of the night. Richards again was off target as they now trailed by 10.
The Warriors were showing more urgency now and they made it back-to-back scores as Farrell broke clean up the middle before sending out a dubious ball for Tuson to race away and score under the posts. Richards made no mistake this time as they trailed 18-14 with 15 minutes to go.
However, a 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 to push them six points in front.
Wigan thought they had scored their fourth try of the night when Hampshire appeared with the ball over the line from Blake Green's kick but referee Tim Roby had adjudged a Bulls player had grounded the ball first.
Seconds later it did not matter as the Warriors were over the whitewash as Thornley juggled a ball from Hampshire before touching down to put them two points behind. Richards calmly slotted the extras as the game was now tied at 20-20.
The momentum was with Wigan now, and Tuson barged his way up the middle and kept his composure despite losing his footing before scoring the winning try in the final minute, with Richards converting to seal a 26-20 win.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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