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Comeback win for Bulls
Bradford keep up play-off push
Wakefield head into their Challenge Cup semi-final facing up to a fourth straight defeat after Bradford beat their Super League play-off rivals 24-10.
The Bulls came back from both the sin-binning of Sam Burgess and a first-half deficit to achieve the result, which keeps them sixth in the Super League table.
The 19-year-old Bulls and England forward became involved in a melee involving several players just past the half-hour.
The brawl typified a chaotic but low-quality first period which saw the Wildcats take a 6-0 lead through Damien Blanch's second-minute try and a Brad Drew penalty.
But the visitors caved in after the break, with Bradford roaring back to score four tries through Paul Deacon, Terry Newton, Ben Jeffries and Iestyn Harris.
It was the worst possible way for John Kear's men to prepare for next Sunday's Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Wakefield rested their talismanic scrum-half Danny Brough with that date in mind but Drew initially combined well alongside Jamie Rooney at half-back.
And the visitors went ahead inside the second minute when Blanch ran on to a grubber kick from Danny Sculthorpe placed in the right-hand corner.
Drew missed the extras but Wakefield nevertheless kept up their momentum as the half progressed.
But the match also proved chaotic in the first half, with decisions made by referee Phil Bentham leaving the home supporters seething.
Their mood was hardly helped by the steady stream of misplaced and undercooked passes coming from the home side.
That the Bulls failed to create any genuine try-scoring opportunities said everything about their first-half malaise.
Drew's penalty put Wakefield further ahead, with Burgess then finding himself in the sinbin after getting involved in a confrontation with Matt Petersen after he squared up to Newton in the 32nd minute.
However, with Burgess back on shortly after the re-start, Bradford rediscovered their poise and in the 49th minute a piece of delightful footwork allowed Deacon to tip toe his way over the line from close range.
Three minutes later Newton found a way through Wakefield's defensive line from acting half and on the hour mark former Wildcats stand-off Jeffries broke clear for Bradford's third.
Deacon converted all three to place his side 18-6 ahead and although Wakefield hit back soon after for an unconverted try from Blanch in the right corner, a delicate offload from Joe Vagana allowed Harris over from 10 metres out.
An ultimately comfortable win came with Deacon's conversion, one which must also encourage Bradford's hopes of securing a play-off berth - possibly at Wakefield's expense.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalan Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalan Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalan Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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