Wolves season review 2004
- Published 01/01/04 3:00 pm
- Warrington Wolves archive
Brave Wolves pay
by Gary Skentelbery
POWERHOUSE winger Lesley Vainikolo continued to haunt Warrington as he helped Bradford Bulls overcome a brave challenge from the Wolves.
All square at the break Vainikolo romped in for a second half hat-trick to finish off Warrington who were guilty of giving away far too many penalties.
The Bulls opened up an 8-0 lead with Paul Deacon kicking a penalty before former Warrington star Iestyn Harris sent Shontayne Hape over for a converted try.
Returning from injury Nathan Wood hit back for the Wolves following good work by Brent Grose to cut the lead to two points.
But Harris again proved the creator for the home side, bursting through and putting Stuart Reardon over on 27 minutes.
Deacon converted and added another penalty, but Warrington hit back from 16-6 to level matters going into the break.
Both Nat Wood and Grose intercepted passes from Harris and Deacon respectively out to race over, with Lee Briers converting the second.
Warrington were unable to convert their chances early in the second period, and Vainikolo made them pay with a quick-fire double to push the Bulls out to 26-16.
The hard working Mark Gleeson saw his efforts rewarded with a try to again hit back for Warrington, who also saw Wood held up over the line, which was the turning point.
A superb solo effort from substitute Chris Bridge gave the Bulls breathing space before Vainikolo took a return pass from Jamie Peacock to complete his hat-trick and seal victory.
After the match Wolves coach Paul Cullen admitted: "The difference between victory and defeat were the penalties we conceded.
"I thought we matched them blow for blow but ultimately paid the price for needlessly giving away six penalties early in the game.
"If we want to cement a place in the top six we have to improve our discipline."