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BBC Sport's Graham Colley
"For long periods Henry kept Bradford in the contest"
 real 14k

Bradford's Henry Paul
"It was a very fast and physical game"
 real 14k

Friday, 17 August, 2001, 21:00 GMT 22:00 UK
Brilliant Bulls blitz Saints
Bradford's Jamie Peacock charges through a gap in the Saints' defence
Bradford's Peacock charges through the Saints' defence
Bradford 27-14 St Helens

A breath-taking second-half display from Bradford destroyed St Helens in another epic confrontation between the two great rivals at Valley Parade on Friday.

The visiting Saints won the try count 3-2, but lost the contest due to a perfect kicking performance from the Bulls' Kiwi star Henry Paul.

Trailing 10-8 at half time, the Bulls stormed back to maintain their unbeaten home record and cement their position at the top of the Super League table.

Bradford drew level three minutes into the second half when Saints were caught offside and Paul landed a huge penalty from five metres inside his own half.

I'd like to see them finish top of the league because that would help our cause - we'll be around when the whips are cracking
Ian Millward
Saints coach
Roared on by a passionate crowd, the Bulls then poured forward scenting the kill.

The pressure paid off when Paul Deacon put over a 48th-minute drop goal to make it 11-10. The opportunistic kick was the first of three drop goals the scrum-half would convert.

The Saints thought they had scored their third try on 51 minutes when Cunningham burrowed over but the effort was ruled out by the video referee, who ruled that Sonny Nickle had obstructed the Bradford defenders.

This proved to be the pivotal moment in the game as Bradford laid siege to the visitors' line.

Bulls forward Graham Mackay was denied a try because of a forward pass, but there was no doubting Michael Withers' superb score on 67 minutes.

Mackay finally got his reward when he crashed over to put the game beyond St Helens, before David Fairleigh scored a consolation try, his second, for the visitors in injury-time.

It's a myth that we can't handle big games - we proved that tonight
Brian Noble
Bulls coach

The reigning champions scored the only two tries of an uncompromising first half but were unable to put much distance between themselves and the Bulls due to Paul's precision with the boot.

The visitors, however, repeatedly resorted to spoiling tactics - a ploy that eventually broke referee Robert Connolly's patience when he sent substitute Wayne McDonald to the sin bin for persistent laying-on in the tackle.

But Bradford, too, ended the first half with 12 men after Leon Pryce was shown the yellow card for apparently throwing the ball at a touch judge.

The visitors punished Pryce's petulance immediately when they scored in his vacated left-wing spot to finish the half as they began it, in total control.

Unfortunately for them, that control did not survive the half-time break, and Bradford ran out deserved winners to send the bumper crowd home happy.

Bradford: Withers, Vaikona, Naylor, Mackay, Pryce, H. Paul, Deacon, Vagana, Lowes, McDermott, Gartner, Peacock, Forshaw.
Replacements: R. Paul, Rigon, Fielden, Anderson.

St Helens: Wellens, Stewart, Iro, Hoppe, Sullivan, Sculthorpe, Martyn, Matautia, K. Cunningham, Nickle, Fairleigh, Shiels, Stankevitch.
Replacements: McDonald, Jonkers, Hall, Cruckshank.

Referee: Robert Connolly (Wigan)

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