Bulls pull off Wolves upset
Bradford Bulls moved off the foot of the Super League with an impressive 34-28 victory over Grand Finalists Warrington Wolves at Provident Stadium.
The Wolves outscored Bradford by four tries to three in the first half, but it was Francis Cummins' men who finished the contest in the ascendency to end a run of eight straight league defeats and secure the points that lift them over London Broncos in the standings.
Tries from Adrian Purtell (two), Jamie Foster, Brett Kearney, Tom Olbison and Elliot Kear, plus five goals from Foster, helped the hosts back up their recent Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth-round success with another win - and also ended a 10-game losing streak against the Wolves dating back to June 2009.
Warrington, still struggling to get into top gear this season, replied with tries from Anthony England, Chris Bridge, Kevin Penny, Joel Monaghan, and Matty Russell, with Bridge adding four conversions, but it was not enough to prevent the 2013 Grand Finalists from slipping to a fourth defeat in six games.
The visitors went ahead when Michael Monaghan sent England over for his first try for the Wolves. Former Bulls product Bridge landed the conversion.
Bradford responded quickly with Foster - a late replacement for Luke George - scoring in the corner but being unable to convert in blustery conditions from the difficult angle.
But, as Wolves pressed, a loose pass from Gareth O'Brien went behind Bridge and Antonio Kaufusi picked up before Bulls full-back Kearney raced over 70 metres to again score in the corner. And this time Foster's equally awkward kick sailed between the posts to put the home side 10-6 ahead.
Within three minutes, the visitors' new half-back duo made amends, with O'Brien sending Bridge over on the right and Bridge's conversion edging Wolves in front once more.
Wolves increased their lead when a Danny Addy kick ricocheted kindly for Michael Monaghan, Atkins, Joel Monaghan and Penny to combine for a spectacular free-handling 70-metre try.
Still the Bulls belied their lowly league position and battled back through a converted Olbison try, but Wolves extended their lead to 22-16 before the break when Joel Monaghan went over, although Bridge missed the conversion.
After the interval Purtell chased and touched down a Lee Gaskell kick to help Bradford fight back onto level terms, but Wolves edged in front once more when Micky Higham sent lively full-back Russell on a mazy run across the whitewash on the hour mark.
A try-saving ball dislodgement by Gaskell on a breaking Michael Monaghan kept the Bulls in the game and Kear took them to within two points of the visitors when he dived over after a stunning final offload from Gaskell 10 minutes from time.
Foster, who kicked five of his seven goal attempts, narrowly failed to land the touchline conversion but it did not matter as, two minutes later, Addy sent Purtell racing clear for his second try to put the Bulls ahead for the first time.
Foster added a late penalty when a Wolves drop-out failed to clear the 10 metres and the Bulls held on despite frantic late efforts form the visitors.