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The BBC's Dave Woods
"Bradford have showed how far they have progressed"
 real 28k

Saturday, 25 March, 2000, 15:14 GMT
Bulls charge to Murrayfield

Bulls skipper Robbie Paul
Bradford 44-20 Warrington

The Bulls marched into the Challenge Cup final but were made to fight all the way by the determined Wolves.

The Wilderspool side more than made amends for their 58-4 Super League defeat by the Bulls last week, and only in the closing stages did the margin between the sides exceeed 10 points.

Two first half tries from Steve McCurrie had kept Warrington within four points of their opponents at the break.

But Ian Knott's score was all they could add as the Bulls stepped up a gear in the second half.

From the start this was a different Wolves side to the one which capitulated so spectacularly last weekend.

Warrington got the first points on the board with a Lee Briers penalty.

But the Bulls went ahead when Scott Naylor charged over for the game's opening try after 14 minutes, although it was not converted.

The Wolves quickly regained the lead when McCurrie freed Briers with a long pass and had the compliment returned before racing under the posts.

McCurrie was again in the action with his second try after a couple of Henry Paul penalties restored parity.

Briers picked up a Spruce fumble and fed Mark Forster for the break that led to the forward's second try.

Clinical Bulls

But the Bulls showed why they are favourites to win the competition with two more tries before the break.

Returning from a 14-minute spell in the blood bin, Robbie Paul, celebrating signing his new contract, scampered over for a superb solo score after 32 minutes.

Stuart Spruce then raced on to Henry Paul's pass to charge through and edge the Bulls ahead at the break.

Warrington continued to fight all the way after the break as the half-time score of 18-14 was maintained until almost midway through the half.

But the Wolves were left regretting three missed chances to bring themselves back level.

Tawera Nikau's looping offload was easily intercepted by McDermott while a fine tackle from Spruce denied Allan Langer.

Left-wing Forster then knocked on during another fast paced Wolves move.

And it was the Bulls who again proved the more clinical as Michael Withers and Justin Brooker both raced over for fine tries within two minutes to hand them a 30-14 lead.

The Wolves came back to reduce the deficit to 30-20 with Knott's try.

But as soon as they did the Bulls extended their lead again, before widening the margin of victory by the end.


Bradford: Spruce, Pryce, Withers, Naylor, McAvoy, H. Paul, R. Paul, McDermott, Lowes, Anderson, Peacock, Forshaw, Mackay. Replacements: Fielden, Brooker, Dwyer, Smith.

Warrington: Penny, Hunte, Kohe-Love, Roper, Forster, Briers, Langer, Gee, Farrar, Nutley, Guisset, McCurrie, Nikau. Replacements: Knott, Hilton, Sibbit, Blakeley.

Referee: Russell Smith (Castleford)

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See also:

24 Mar 00 | Rugby League
Bulls re-sign Paul until 2003
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Wolves have it all to do
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Naylor joins Blue Sox
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Hull smash favourites Wigan
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Wolves break Salford hearts
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