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Page last updated at 21:49 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Bradford Bulls 22-20 Wigan Warriors

Bradford (0) 22
Tries: Kearney, Orford 2, Hall Goals: Orford 3

Wigan (20) 20
Tries: Goulding, Hansen, Tomkins, Richards Goals: Richards 2


Matt Orford scored two second-half tries to spearhead the Bulls comeback
Orford joined Bradford from Manly Sea Eagles in the winter

Bradford Bulls made a sensational second-half Odsal comeback to stun Wigan Warriors and end the Super League leaders' 100% start to the season.

Rampant Wigan led 20-0 at half-time thanks to four first-half tries from Darrell Goulding, Harrison Hansen, Sam Tomkins and Pat Richards.

But the Bulls hit back with a try from Brett Kearney and two from scrum-half Matt Orford, their man of the match.

And Glenn Hall seized on Amos Roberts' error to win it with a minute to spare.

Five wins on the trot would have equalled Wigan's best start to a season in 10 years.

But, when winger Roberts clumsily spilled the ball on the charge after brilliantly holding onto a Bulls bomb, Hall cashed in to surge over for his first try in Super League.

Steve McNamara's men had looked down and out at half-time after being completely outplayed by their in-form visitors.

There was no hint of the drama to come when the Warriors, fresh from the 58-0 rout of Catalans Dragons, made the perfect start, Roberts' long pass picking out right wing Goulding.

A dazzling run from deep inside his own half by the electrifying Roberts then set up the position for Sam Tomkins to get second-rower Hansen over.

The Warriors were forced to reshuffle when centre George Carmont hobbled off midway through the first half but there was no disruption to their rhythm as they added two further tries in the last six minutes of the half.

Sam Tomkins got on the inside of a break by Sean O'Loughlin to register his first try of the season, while Richards' power saw him crash over for an eighth in five games.

But McNamara's harsh words at the interval clearly had the desired effect, especially on chief playmaker Orford.

Stand-off Kearney finished off a flowing handling move for the first try Wigan had shipped in more than two hours.

And it took just three minutes for the next as Orford bulldozed his way over before converting his own score to cut the gap to eight points and bring the crowd to life.

But, although Wigan fought back, they could not find a way through and the crucial score came instead from Orford, who wriggled free from Roberts' tackle to grab his second try.

He was unable to add the goal but, when Roberts spilled the ball, that let in Hall - and Orford kept his composure to kick his third goal and, amidst wild scenes of jubilation at Odsal, secure a breathless victory.


Bradford Bulls coach Steve McNamara said:

"We're not going to get carried away by it. It was a great comeback, as good as any team-bonding exercise, but we can't rely on doing that every week.

"We started well then lost our way, played some dumb rugby league and made some poor decisions. We needed to smarten up in certain areas and we managed to do that.

"Matt Orford wasn't feeling so well in the second half but he came up with some great plays. In tough situations, you need leaders to lead and our leaders responded."

Wigan Warriors coach Michael Maguire said:

"We've set a high standard over the last four or five weeks but unfortunately that slipped in the second half.

"It's a matter of the boys understanding that it's an 80-minute game and, if you don't play for 80 minutes, good players like Matt Orford can burn you.

"He showed his skills tonight and he got us. He's a crafty half. He's got a good left foot and a good right-foot step."


Bradford Bulls: Halley, Crookes, Sykes, Nero, Reardon, Kearney, Orford, Scruton, L'Estrange, Lynch, Langley, Whitehead, Menzies.
Replacements: Hall, Godwin, Kopczak, Worrincy.

Wigan Warriors: Roberts, Goulding, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, S Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Hansen, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Bailey, Paleaasina, Deacon, O'Carroll.

Attendance: 9,244.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).



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see also
Salford 0-7 Bradford
26 Feb 10 |  My Club
Wigan 58-0 Catalans Dragons
26 Feb 10 |  My Club
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League


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