Wolves season review 2004
- Published 01/01/04 3:00 pm
- Warrington Wolves archive
By Sports staff
Last gasp heart
break for Wolves
A last-gasp drop goal inflicted more heart break for Warrington Wolves as the curtain came down on the first season at the Halliwell Jones in front of another 10,000 plus crowd.
Trailing 6-22 at the break Warrington stromed back in the second half to lead 26-22 and looked to have pulled off an amazing come back.
But old boy Iestyn Harris stormed through a gap to level the scores and then half-back Paul Deacon slotted over a drop goal as the Bulsl regained the lead.
Wolves skipper Lee Briers thought he had done enough to get a share of the spoils when he slotted over a drop goal with a minute to go but back came Bradford with Deacon snatching victory with the very last kick of the game.
Warrington took the lead inside three minutes, with Danny Lima making the initial yards before Briers put Ian Sibbit over for the opening score, with Briers converting.
The Wolves stand off missed with a penalty kick soon afterwards, and that proved crucial as the Bulls roared back, with Jamie Langley coasting through to touch down, Deacon adding the extras.
Bradford then took the lead on 17 minutes, with Henry Fa'afili and Graham Appo failing to clear up Deacon's kick to allow Lesley Vainikolo to score his 34th try of the season.
The Kiwi winger then created a score for Shontayne Hape, and the Bulls found themselves 14-6 up in the blink of an eye.
Deacon edged the Bulls further ahead with a penalty before Harris touched down to open up a 22-6 interval lead.
Warrington hit back through Graham Appo seven minutes after the restart, and when Dean Gaskell sent Paul Wood in, the Wolves were back to within six points.
Centre Brent Grose then cut the gap further by dancing his way to the line, and the Wolves took the lead with nine minutes remaining.
Gaskell pounced on a Briers kick which bounced kindly, with the Wolves skipper converting from the touchline.
But Warrington's joy was short lived and they were left reflecting on what could have been.
Head Coach Paul Cullen said: "I thought we were the better team for 75 minutes but were blown away by a five-minute whirlwind when they scored three tries.
"To take that kind of punishment and come back from it was remarkable.
"Our league position is justified because we have not won enough games - but we are up there fighting with the big boys now.
"That is where we want to be and it gives us good heart."
It could also have been a farewell performance by fans favourite half-back Gary Hulse and second rower Ian Sibbitt who have not had their contracts renewed.