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Wigan 30-14 Bradford

Wigan (12) 30
Tries: Leuluai, Hansen, Calderwood, Tompkins, Hock Goals: Richards 5
Bradford (8) 14
Tries: Lynch, Finnigan Goals: Deacon 2, Harris


Wigan's Harrison Hansen
Hansen scored Wigan's second try at Widnes' Stobart Stadium

Wigan knocked Bradford out of the Super League play-offs for the second season running with a well-deserved victory in the first elimination game in Widnes.

Bradford went ahead with a Paul Deacon goal and a try from Andy Lynch.

The Bulls also had a try ruled out before Wigan hit back with scores from Thomas Leuluai and Harrison Hansen.

Mark Calderwood extended Wigan's lead and although Simon Finnigan kept the Bulls in it, scores from Joel Tompkins and Gareth Hock saw the Warriors home.

Wigan will now play the winners of Saturday's second elimination match between Catalans and Warrington in the elimination semi-final on 20 September.

The win will be a sweet one for the Warriors, who were controversially forced to switch their home tie from the JJB Stadium to the Stobart Stadium in Widnes because of a fixture clash with Wigan Athletic football club.

Like last year's thrilling play-off clash between the two sides, it was Bradford who made the early running - Deacon putting his side ahead after six minutes.

606: DEBATE
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The Bulls thought they scored the first try on 12 minutes through Chris Nero but video referee Richard Silverwood harshly ruled that Semi Tadulala knocked-on when palming back a cross-field kick in the build up.

Bradford did get a score soon afterwards though, Lynch barging his way over after a hand-off on Hansen.

But Wigan started to take control, Leuluai showing some quick thinking from a quick play-the-ball to just get the ball on the whitewash.

Warriors skipper Trent Barrett was held up with the ball as he crashed over before Hansen took Leuluai's pass to stroll through a gap in the Bradford defence from close range.

Deacon failed to appear for the second period because of a leg injury and in a further blow for the Bulls, winger Calderwood took Barrett's grubber to increase Wigan's lead.

Bradford reduced the deficit to four points thanks to Finnigan's score on 49 minutes but Tadulala was placed on report for a high and dangerous tackle on Cameron Phelps.

Tompkins put Wigan back on track with a score 15 minutes from time and victory was assured when Hock danced his way through some poor Bradford tackling to claim Wigan's fifth try.

The only worry for the Warriors was the injury to Phelps, who was stretchered off after receiving a nasty-looking knock to the head.


Wigan: Mathers, Calderwood, Phelps, Carmont, Richards, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Coley, Hansen, Bailey, J Tomkins.
Replacements: Paleaaesina, Hock, O'Carroll, Smith.

Bradford: Platt, Evans, Sykes, Nero, Tadulala, Jeffries, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, Solomona, Finnigan, Langley.
Replacements: Harris, Morrison, Cook, Kopczak.

Referee: A Klein (London).



see also
Play-off pics
13 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
McNamara criticises video referee
13 Sep 08 |  Bradford
Play-offs explained
08 Sep 08 |  My Club


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