Bulls dig deep to maintain challenge

Last updated at 18:49 05 August 2007

Twelve-man Bradford overcame a gritty Wakefield comeback and kept the pressure on engage Super League's top two after controversial referee Steve Ganson marked his return to Odsal by sending off Bulls prop Joe Vagana.

Bradford looked to have wrapped things up after they stretched their 16-12 half-time lead into a 26-12 advantage midway through the second half.

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Bradford's Tame Tupou

But the Wildcats clawed their way back when tries from Jason Demetriou and Kevin Henderson brought them to within two points of the hosts - only for James Evans to crash through for his second score to calm Bradford's nerves.

Vagana became only the third Super League player to see red this year after raising his elbow in a 39th-minute collision with Wakefield youngster Luke George.

Ganson, who was roundly jeered before the game after his part in Bradford's infamous defeat against Leeds in May's 'Millennium Magic' weekend, took little time to dismiss the Kiwi prop and make himself even more unpopular with the Bulls' faithful.

But instead of collapsing, injury-ravaged Bradford - who had Paul Deacon pull

out with injury during the warm-up - produced a display full of character and


Young prop Sam Burgess collected 14 points with a try and five goals while

Australian star Glenn Morrison, operating at stand-off in the absence of Iestyn

Harris, was also outstanding.

Morrison created Bradford's first try by pushing a smart ball to youngster Dave

Halley - and the Bulls did not relinquish their lead.

Ryan Atkins levelled the scores but Evans' first try, after good work from

David Solomona, nudged Bradford back in front.

Morrison collected Solomona's towering bomb before the interval to cancel out

Peter Fox's score and maintain the Bulls' advantage, despite Jamie Rooney's

penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Then Tame Tupou crossed 18 seconds after the restart and Solomona went through

from close-range to give the Bulls just enough breathing space to hold off John

Kear's troops.