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Warriors brush Bulls aside
Hosts impress at a wet JJB Stadium
Wigan Warriors ran in five tries to secure a 28-14 victory over Bradford Bulls at a rainswept JJB Stadium on Saturday evening.
George Carmont, Darrell Goulding, Pat Richards, Joel Tomkins and Harrison Hansen all touched down as the Warriors overcame an early eight-point deficit to record their third Super League win in four games this season.
Bradford had dominated the opening 10 minutes while building an 8-0 lead through a penalty and Wayne Godwin's converted try, but their defending then let them down as they conceded 18 unanswered points in the heavy conditions.
Although Chris Feather gave the Bulls hope with a 56th-minute try, Wigan sealed the result with scores from Tomkins and Hansen in the final quarter.
Early Bulls charge
Eagle eyed referee Richard Silverwood penalised Wigan three times for off-side during the first six minutes.
The third occasion provided Paul Deacon with a simple penalty from in front of the posts which he converted for a 2-0 lead.
Silverwood's patience finally ran out in the eighth minute when Thomas Leuluai was dispatched to the sin bin after being the fourth Wigan player to stray off-side.
And worse followed for the hosts from the resulting penalty. Bradford hooker Godwin took a quick tap and dived through two would-be tacklers to the whitewash. Deacon added the extras for an 8-0 lead.
The visitors' ascendancy did not last much longer as Wigan's first extended foray upfield resulted in a try. Trent Barrett's grubber kick was touched down by Carmont and, after a lengthy deliberation, the video referee ruled that downward pressure had been applied on the ball.
Richards was on target with the conversion and a 27th-minute penalty to level matters at 8-8. With the rain starting to become heavy, underfoot conditions were worsening by the minute and making it difficult to play expansive rugby.
Referee Silverwood continued to make liberal use of his whistle, Glenn Morrison was shown the yellow card in the 32nd minute for interfering at the play-of-the-ball, the final straw after a string of infringements.
Wigan took advantage of their extra man to add a second try shortly before half-time. Goulding crossed unopposed in the right corner after a quick play-of-the-ball exploited a gaping overlap, which had been created by Gareth Hock's initial break from inside his own half. Richards' conversion took Wigan into half-time with a 12-8 lead.
And they required just five minutes of the second half to register a third try. Barrett hoisted a cross-field kick with pinpoint accuracy, allowing Richards to soar above Paul Sykes in the left corner and pluck the ball out of the air for the score. Richards' third conversion meant the Bulls had shipped 18 points without reply
The visitors briefly got back in the contest through Feather's 56th-minute try. The replacement took the ball flat and barged over from close range after Semi Tadulala had been stopped just short. Deacon booted the additional two to cut the deficit to four points.
But any hopes of a comeback were dashed seven minutes later when Michael Platt's error gifted Wigan a fourth try.
The full-back attempted to slide in and collect Leuluai's kick ahead, only to see the ball ricochet off his body and into the path of Wigan replacement Tomkins, who took it in for the score.
And Hansen iced the victory with Wigan's fifth try in the final minute. Richards, who contributed a personal haul of 12 points, missed the conversion to lose his 100 percent kicking record.
The defeat is Bradford's third of the season and leaves them down in eighth place in the Super League table, while Wigan are now alone in second, two points behind leaders Leeds.
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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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