Wolves maul Bulls


at the double



by Gary Skentelbery Pictures: Neil Ashurst

WARRINGTON Wolves completed a "double double" over Bradford Bulls, with their fourth consecutive victory over the Super League and World Club Champions.
Despite missing several keys players through injury, including former Bulls Chris Bridge and Toa Kohe-Love the Wolves were in rampant form as they ensured Steve McNamara had a losing start as Bradford coach with a stunning 27-4 win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wolves soaked up some fierce second-half pressure as they led 10-4 at the break and showed their stamina as pulled away in the closing stages to complete the double over their Yorkshire rivals who they also beat at Odsal two weeks ago, backing up last season's double.
Having opened up an early ten-point lead thanks to tries from Martin Gleeson and Ben Westwood, Warrington were made to work as Bradford came back with a Marcus Bai try.
But despite their best efforts, that proved Bradford's only score of the afternoon as Warrington eased clear in the final 10 minutes through scores from Paul Wood, Martin Gleeson and Lee Briers. Warrington assumed control after a hectic opening quarter-hour that saw two tries and two men sin-binned.
Bradford's Terry Newton was the first man to be shown the yellow card after just two minutes, although it was harsh on the hooker as Brett Ferres appeared to be the Bulls man who had caught Briers with a high shot.
The hosts needed no second invitation to capitalise on their numerical advantage with Briers sending over Gleeson for the opening score of the match.
Referee Ashley Klein soon levelled matters up when he sent Mike Wainwright to the sin-bin for preventing Bradford from making a quick restart.
It didn't affect the Wolves who extended their lead when Westwood raced on to a clever Briers kick to touch down under the posts, Briers added the extras.
Bradford did make some inroads into the deficit before the interval when Iestyn Harris flighted a pass out wide for Bai to power over in the corner.
Briers had chances to edge his side further ahead but failed with a penalty and a couple of drop-goal efforts early in the second period, but Warrington continued to produce some superb defence to keep their opponents at bay.
Briers finally relieved some of the pressure when he slotted a drop-goal at the third time of asking with 11 minutes remaining and that seemed to open the floodgates as Jon Clarke sent Wood over.
Minutes later Gleeson burst clear to surge in from 20 metres and Briers put a real gloss on the scoreline by crossing himself in the very last minute.
  • Pictures show Lee Briers celebrating his try, and Martin Gleeson taking on the Bradford defence.
    Pictures courtesy of Neil Ashurst www.pandbpictures.com