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Super League: Bradford beat Wakefield to close on top eight
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Bradford claimed a crucial 26-24 victory over Wakefield at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Super League play-offs.
The Wildcats and Bulls sat three and four points respectively behind eighth-placed Hull FC at kick-off, and it was the visitors who improved their position thanks to two tries from Keith Lulia and one each from Tom Olbison, Brett Kearney and Jamie Foster.
Wakefield opened up a seemingly comfortable lead through scores from Reece Lyne and Peter Fox, and although the hosts crossed twice more in the second-half they fell just short.
Bradford are now two points adrift of Hull with four games remaining, and with a favourable run-in they will fancy their chances of making the top eight for the first time since 2008.
After dominating the opening exchanges, Wakefield hit the front when Lyne ran an excellent line to collect a short pass, and he showed great footwork to round his marker and touch down for a converted score.
The home side were over again seven minutes later as great hands down the right side allowed Danny Cowling to supply Fox with a neat short pass for the score, with the extras making it 12-0.
But the Bulls hit back five minutes before the half when Lulia dived over from close range, Foster adding the extras to reduce the gap to six.
The Wildcats went close again from the restart and were made to pay for the missed opportunity when Lulia crossed for his second after a sublime offload from Danny Addy, making it 12-10 to Wakefield at the interval.
Wakefield extended their lead in the second half, Tim Smith providing the assist for Frankie Mariano to race 30 metres and score. Smith converted for an eight-point lead.
That was cancelled out on the Bulls' next attack as Luke Gale's dangerous grubber kick was not dealt with by Ali Lauitiiti and Olbison pounced for a converted score.
Bradford then took the lead with a spectacular 70-metre try by Kearney after he was put away by Lulia. Foster converted and then went over himself to give the visitors an eight-point advantage.
With two minutes remaining Lee Smith broke two tackles to dive over, and he converted to reduce the gap to two, but the Bulls held on.
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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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