Bulls knocked senseless by Dragons' seven-try comeback

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The Independent Online

Catalan Dragons staged one of the great Challenge Cup comebacks to beat Bradford in an astonishing fourth-round tie in Perpignan yesterday. The Bulls looked to have secured their place in the last 16 when they led 26-0 after 43 minutes but conceded seven tries in a remarkable 26-minute spell in the second half to crash to an ignominious 40-38 defeat.

When Steve Menzies added a fifth try early in the second half, it looked all over but the Dragons scored four tries in a devastating 14-minute spell to cut the gap to just four points. Semi Tadulala grabbed a second try after collecting Ben Jeffries' high kick to stretch the Bulls' lead but centre Jean Phillippe Baille and Thomas Bosc went over in quick succession to edge the home side in front for the first time.

The turning point came on 71 minutes when Bradford full-back Michael Platt offloaded from a three-man tackle behind his own line to gift a try to substitute Cyril Gossard. Bosc's sixth goal put the French side eight points clear, which was a big enough cushion to enable them to withstand late Bradford pressure.

Teenager Stephen Myler scored a dramatic late try as Salford claimed a 22-18 win to send 2008 runners-up Hull out. The Super League strugglers deserved victory but their chance looked to have gone as Hull fought back from 16-6 down to lead with 10 minutes left. Salford had hit back from an early Kirk Yeaman try with a Stuart Littler touchdown and 12 points from John Wilshere, only for Hull to fight back. The Black and Whites restored order as Yeaman claimed his second and Tom Briscoe raced in but 18-year-old Myler had the final word.

Wigan were given a scare at Championship club Barrow, who pushed them all the way before succumbing to a defeat. In the end a hat-trick of tries in the first half by Shaun Ainscough proved crucial for Warriors, but there was never much in the scoreline for the first hour.

Castleford's fine start to the season continued as they eased to a 64-20 victory over Keighley at Cougar Park to book their place in the fifth round.