Bradford go 8th, as Wakefield blow open play-off race

 

Bradford’s fairytale ending to the season is still on course as they put themselves in pole position for a top 8 finish with a commanding victory at Huddersfield.

In an error-strewn contest, the Bulls came out on top in the first half arm wrestle, and their opponents, who needed a win to mathematically guarantee their own play-off berth, had no answer.

Luke Gale, who kicked five from six conversions, scored perhaps the game’s decisive try on the stroke of half-time, putting Bradford 18-6 to the good and they were never really troubled after the break, running in three more tries in the second half to win 34-12.

The Bulls thought they were in with a shout for the first try of the game as Ben Jeffries grubber headed towards Jason Crookes in the corner, only for him to appear to be taken out off the ball by opposite number Jermaine McGillvary.

Nothing was given, and with the Bulls fans still perplexed by the decision, Huddersfield worked their way up the field off the back of two penalties to score the game’s first try through former Bull Joe Wardle.

The game got a bit heated for a spell, with Keith Mason involved in a couple of skirmishes, before the errors started to creep in to the game on both sides.

Bradford were just about on top of the territory and they got themselves on the board when Karl Pryce‘s quick pass was neatly picked up on his toes by Shaun Ainscough, who crossed for a try down the right hand side.

The game swung in Bradford’s favour on the half hour mark as, despite calls for obstruction, Matt Diskin was able to half break through the line, and then shrug off a couple of tackles and force his way over the line under the posts.

Bradford then took control right on the stroke of half time, when Brett Kearney probed the Giants defence to build the platform for the next play which saw Luke Gale break through, offload to Kearney, who then returned the favour, and Gale’s momentum just about took him over the whitewash.

The former Harlequins half-back dusted himself to kick the simple conversion, making it three from three, and the visitors went in 18-6 to the good at the break.

The errors continued at the start of the second half, with neither coach happy at the low percentage of completions, and Huddersfield’s lack of confidence was apparent when McGillvary wasted a chance created by a neat Scott Grix chip kick, ignoring the presence of Leroy Cudjoe on his inside, and instead putting in a poor kick which was gathered by Kearney.

Cudjoe and McGillvary did link up shortly before the hour, only for McGillvary’s try in the corner to be chalked off for a forward pass from his centre.

Huddersfield’s woes were compounded when Luke George failed to prevent a Luke Gale 40-20, and from the resulting scrum, Kearney went wide of the Giants’ right hand defence to score their fourth try.

Scott Grix‘s inside ball sent Greg Eden through the Bulls defence, and he found Luke Robinson on his left hand shoulder, only for Jeffries to get back and deny the hooker. Brough’s cross-field kick was then knocked on by McGillvary and that was the chance, and the game, gone for the home side.

When Jeffries’ drop goal attempt was charged down on 65 minutes, to give the Bulls another set on the Giants line, the writing was on the wall, and Karl Pryce made the game safe with the first of his two tries, which sandwiched a late Leroy Cudjoe consolation.

 

 

Wakefield’s remarkable play-off charge continued as they snatched a dramatic victory at Hull KR.

Paul Sykes kicked a last minute drop goal to earn the Wildcats a 31-30 win in a see-saw battle at Craven Park.

The Wildcats had led 26-16 before the home side mounted a superb comeback to lead 30-26.

Kyle Wood‘s try four minutes from the end brought the visitors level, before Sykes one-pointer made it five straight wins for Richard Agar’s men, lifting them above their opponents in to 9th.

 

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