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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2007, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Bradford v St Helens as it happened
606: DEBATE

Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final at Galpharm Stadium (1230 BST)

LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)

To get involved use 606


By Paul Fletcher

"It is a dream come true to go to Wembley. It was nice to play in the sunshine instead of the rain."
Man of the Match Keiron Cunningham

1412: Full-time Bradford 14-35 St Helens
The final hooter sounds and Saints are worthy winners. Wigan play Les Catalans in the other semi-final on Sunday and whoever wins will have to be on top form to beat Saints on the evidence of what we have seen today.

"I think St Helens were so clinicial. Their passing was crisp and in the opposition 20 metre area they were superb. It will take a very good side to beat them in the final."
BBC commentator Jonathan Davies

1412: Willie Talau is denied a try by the video referee. A decision that will not affect the result in any way.

1409: A couple of minutes to go and Saints' defence of their title will see them at Wembley on 25 August.

Michael Platt punches Maurie Fa'asavalu in the face. I would not do that. Fa'asavalu drops the ball and considers his options. In the end - and surely to Platt's relief - he keeps calm.

"I think that Platt must have sunstroke."
Hull KR coach Justin Morgan on BBC Five Live

"My Carnegie Man of the Match is undoubtedly Keiron Cunningham."
BBC commentator Jonathan Davies

1405: Bradford 14-35 St Helens
Mike Bennett
benefits from a great pass from Keiron Cunningham to burst through and score. Cunningham is playing his 400th game for Saints and as brilliant as ever. Paul Wellens adds the extras.

1403: Ade Gardner almost touches down after a grubber from Matt Gidley but Michael Platt clears. The atmosphere has gone a little flat. OK, the Saints fans seem happy but the nervous tension is not what it was.

1402: Less than 10 minutes to go and Saints seem certain to be heading to Wembley. Bradford need three scores.

1358: Bradford 14-29 St Helens
Former Bulls star Leon Pryce collects a kick from Iestyn Harris and races 60 metres down the field before crossing under the sticks for what is surely the decisive score of the game. It had been an ambituous kick from Harris, who has played well.
Sean Long makes no mistake from in front of the posts.

"I think Saints are throwing the ball around too much in their own 20 metre area."
BBC commentator Ray French

1356: Bradford 14-23 St Helens
Joe Vagana
crashes over the line from short range, smashing players all over the place as he does so. No messing around now, with Paul Deacon adding the extras.

1354: Bradford bomb a try out wide after a flowing move. Tame Tupou just cannot hold a pass from David Solomona. A chance missed - and one that needed taking.

1352: Dummy-half run update: Bradford 10, St Helens 31.

1350: Mistakes have cost Bradford. Matt James, for example, lost the ball and Saints scored through Clough in the subsequent set. But with 18 minutes left Bradford have not given up and are pushing forward. Oops, another Bulls knock on. It has been that sort of game for them.

"St Helens are now in full flow. I have been very impressed with this young man Paul Clough."
BBC commentator Ray French

1346: Bradford 8-23 St Helens
Paul Clough
touches down after collecting a superb delayed pass from Sean Long. The Bulls could not cope with St Helens' dummy runners. The Saints fans start singing about Wembley and follow that up with a burst of "you're not singing anymore". Sean Long adds the extras.

1344: Bradford 8-17 St Helens
Tame Tupou
brilliantly avoids the touchline to score in the corner under pressure from Ade Gardner. It was just what the Bulls needed and makes me wonder - do we have a game on? Paul Deacon misses with the conversion.

1342: Bulls win a penalty in a good position and Paul Deacon kicks into touch. They must surely need to score soon.

1338: Bulls boss Streve McNamara apparently told his players at the break that there ware often big swings in Challenge Cup semi-finals and to try to get the ball out wide a bit more.

Paul Deacon attempts his first 40-20 of the game, the ball bouncing into touch narrowly outside the 20 metre line.

1336: No points yet in the second half with almost 10 minutes gone - and that will surely suit Saints. The next score will surely be crucial.

1333: Bradford win a penalty after James Roby is caught offside but Paul Deacon slices his kick into touch. It is turning into that sort of afternoon for the Bulls.

1331: So much talk in the first half about taking opportunities - with Saints very much in the ascendancy. Another good example, with the Bulls' James Evans spilling the ball in a promising position.

1329: Bradford on the attack early in the half but, as always, Paul Wellens is on hand to clean up a dangerous kick.

"I can see Bradford getting back into the game but they have got to score first. St Helens rarely give up a lead."
Hull KR coach Justin Morgan on BBC Five Live

1328: Saints full-back Paul Wellens kicks off the second half. Is there any way back for Bradford, who now have stiff breeze at their backs?

  • Don't forget that that after the coverage on BBC One there will be a live interactive forum from 1425-1500 GMT that is available to digital viewers by pressing the red button.
  • Presenter Phil Jones will be joined by Ray French, Jonathan Davies and Brian Noble. They will be discussing all sorts of issues, including the semi-final, quotas, salary caps and who will suceed Paul Sculthorpe as GB skipper.

    You can e-mail a question to rugbyleague@bbc.co.uk or text 81111.

    1320: Some half-time stats. Possession is even steven at 50% per side, while Saints have missed eight tackles to Bradford's two. Tellingly, though, Saints have run out from dummy half 13 times to Bradford's two. When St Helens get on a roll...

    "It is the executuion of the skill at the death that Saints have been superb at. Their defence has also been outstanding. The arm wrestle has actually been quite even."
    BBC pundit Brian Noble

    "It has been an outstanding performance by St Helens with a couple of great tries but what has won us the half has been our defence."
    Injured St Helens star Paul Sculthorpe

    1315: Half-time Bradford 4-17 St Helens
    The Bulls have enjoyed lots of good territory and possession but on the evidence of the opening half Saints are a class above in attack. Their movement has been breathtaking at times, a real joy to watch. Bradford coach Steve McNamara really has to earn his corn at the break.

    1315: Bradford 4-17 St Helens
    The hooter sounds but a brilliant piece of thinking from Sean Long sees him add an extra point with a drop goal from virtually the half-way line.

    1312: Some extremely creative passing from Bradford as they go in search of a score before the break.

    "The difference is the quality when the two teams are attacking."
    BBC commentator Jonathan Davies

    1255: Bradford 4-16 St Helens
    A brilliant, brilliant try. A superb break from James Roby, who is playing with a hairline fracture of his cheekbone. The ball finds it way to Jon Wilkin, who slips a sublime pass out to Matt Gidley as he is tackled and the Australian crosses for his 16th try in 24 games as a St Helens player. Sean Long adds the extras.

    1303: Carelessness is costing Bradford. If they want to win this game they must not hand Saints an attacking base in such good positions.

    "We are being treated to a great game with both teams going hammer and tong."
    BBC pundit Robbie Paul

    1300: The Bulls look powerful in possession, Saints dynamic and smooth when they have the ball. St Helens have so far more often translated good field position into points.

    1257: Bradford looking dangerous but Chris McKenna is penalised for crossing. They are not amused.

    "I think that decision is very, very harsh."
    BBC commentator Jonathan Davies

    1255: Bradford 4-10 St Helens
    Francis Meli touches down in the corner after the video referee decides there had been no obstruction in the move that led to the try. Saints worked the ball out wide on the left but were aided by some questionable positioning from the Bulls defence. Sean Long misses the conversion.

    1252: Up to the video ref. Francis Meli has crossed but referee Richard Silverwood wants the move checking for an obstruction.

    1247: Bradford 4-6 St Helens
    James Evans scores his 10th try for Bradford after latching on to a brilliant grubber kick from Paul Deacon. The Bulls skipper pushes the extras wide of the sticks.

    1245: Bradford concede another penalty in a dangerous position but Keiron Cunningham floats another ambitious pass. This time the ball is knocked on, much to the Bulls' relief.

    "Bradford need to play a bit more direct and ask a few more questions of the St Helens line. They will eventually crack."
    Hull KR coach Justin Morgan on BBC Five Live

    1242: Just to put you in the picture, it is a windy day at the Galpharm Stadium and quite sunny and warm with the pitchside temperature pushing 20C.

    1238: The Bulls generate a head of steam and a barnstorming run from Glenn Morrison almost results in a score but he is held up. Moments later Tame Tupou bombs a try, spilling a catch at the crucial moment.

    1237: Saints pushing forward. The Bulls have yet to get into this game.

    1233: Bradford 0-6 St Helens. First blood to Saints.
    Leon Pryce makes a break and is brought down within yards of the line. A lengthy pass from Keiron Cunningham at dummy half stretches Bradford and another long pass as the ball is worked along the line culminates in Willie Talau touching down. Sean Long puts over a brilliant conversion from a tight angle

    "A very decisive run from Leon Pryce and he made that try."
    Hull KR coach Justin Morgan on BBC Five Live

    1232: The first penalty of the day goes against............Terry Newton for a high tackle. Not a major shock.

    1230: Bradford get the game under way through Paul Deacon. Nick Fozzard with the first carry of the day.

    1229: BBC studio guests Brian Noble and Robbie Paul are tipping Bradford to win. Hmm, heart ruling the head perhaps?

    1225: Right then, kick-off close so let me remind you of the teams.

    Bradford: Platt, St Hilaire, B. Harris, Evans, Tupou, I. Harris, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, McKenna, Solomona, Morrison.
    Replacements: McAvoy, Henderson, Burgess, James.

    St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Graham, Gilmour, Bennett, Wilkin.
    Replacements: Roby, Hargreaves, Clough, Fa'asavalu.

    And what do the two coaches think?

    "We were a little bit down last week but that is out of our system and really looking forward to the game."
    Bradford boss Steve McNamara following the Bulls 14-10 defeat at Salford last week

    "There is not much between Bradford and Saints, if we have the edge it is with experience."
    Saints boss Daniel Anderson

    1220: A few pre-match thoughts from injured Saints star Paul Sculthorpe ahead of the game.

    "It is going to be a massive game. It is all about the 80 minutes - you can throw the form book out of the window. I just wish I was out there."

    1215: Some chat coming through on our 606 thread - everyone tipping Saints. Anyone out there think Bradford will win?

    1200 GMT: The semi-final is now just 30 minutes away.
    Saints, of course, are the defending champions having beaten Huddersfield 42-12 at Twickenham last year. Bradford last won the trophy in 2003, edging out Leeds 22-20 in a thrilling final at the Millennium Stadium.

    Wembley is just one win away for either Bradford and Saints - and after that's a big incentive now the iconic venue is back on the rugby league map following its much-publicised revamp.

    For the record, the last Challenge Cup final at Wembley was in 1999, when Leeds Rhinos beat London Broncos 52-16 in front of 73,242 spectators.

    Since then, the final has been played at Murrayfield (2000 and 2002), Twickenham (2001 and 2006) and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (2002-2005).

  • And don't forget that that after the coverage on BBC One there will be a live interactive forum from 1425-1500 GMT that is available to digital viewers by pressing the red button.
  • Presenter Phil Jones will be joined by Ray French, Jonathan Davies and Brian Noble. They will be discussing all sorts of issues, including the semi-final, quotas, salary caps and who will suceed Paul Sculthorpe as GB skipper.

    You can e-mail a question to rugbyleague@bbc.co.uk or text 81111.

    TEAM NEWS:

    Bradford are without forward Jamie Langley, who is out for the season following wrist surgery and have also rejected the chance to recall winger Lesley Vainikolo from Gloucester. Second rower Matt Cook was available after injury but missed the cut when the provisional 18-man squad became 17.

    Team: Platt, St Hilaire, B. Harris, Evans, Tupou, I. Harris, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, McKenna, Solomona, Morrison.
    Replacements: McAvoy, Henderson, Burgess, James.

    St Helens are missing prop Jason Cayless, who has returned home to Australia following the sudden death of his mother. Loose forward Jon Wilkin is back after a one-match ban while utility man Lee Gilmour is fit again after injury.

    Team: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Graham, Gilmour, Bennett, Wilkin.
    Replacements: Roby, Hargreaves, Clough, Fa'asavalu.



    SEE ALSO
    Bradford v St Helens (Sat)
    26 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
    No Bulls comeback for Vainikolo
    24 Jul 07 |  Bradford
    Roby's Wembley dream
    26 Jul 07 |  St Helens


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