Jeffries returns to demonstrate kicker's art

Wakefield Wildcats 18 Bradford Bulls 36

Belle Vue

Ben Jeffries returned to Belle Vue to haunt his old club with a match-changing contribution.

Elliot Whitehead did more than his share to ensure the Bulls' victory with his hat-trick, but two of those tries - and two others besides - came from the pin-point kicking of Jeffries in his first appearance of the season.

It made the difference between a game that Wakefield really ought to have won and one that ran away from completely in the second half. After their dismal performance against Wigan last week, it was a startling Bradford transformation.

As in that match, the Bulls began dreadfully, conceding a try within the first minute. Ali Lauitiiti began it with one of his trademark offloads, Isaac John kicked into space and Ben Cockayne scored with some ease.

With a heavy penalty count against them and the Wildcats looking inventive and enterprising, the game was already drifting away from the Bulls.

Jeffries kept them in it with his first demonstration of the kicker's art, chipping the ball perfectly for Keith Lulia to catch and touch down.

It was the first of five times that the lead was to change hands.

The second came when Danny Washbrook's intelligent pass put the Wakefield captain, Steve Southern, through a gap.

The game continued its see-saw rhythm when Whitehead claimed his first, and interception from John.

That was enough to put the Bulls ahead, slightly against the run of play at half time, but they fell behind immediately after when Danny Kirmond stormed through some ineffectual tackling.

The game swung, however, on four Bulls tries in 13 hectic minutes.

Three of them came from virtually identical kicks from Jeffries, who probed away relentlessly like a boxer who has found a fatal flaw in his opponent's defence. Wakefield seemed to have defused the first of them, but it popped out for Brett Kearney to force down.

The next two were plucked out of the air by the alert Whitehead and when Kearney sneaked in for his second, the game was as good as won.

"It was a well deserved win," said the Bulls' coach, Mick Potter. "We fixed up a few things after last week."

Richie Mathers got one back for Trinity, but their coach, Richard Agar, blamed "a simple failure to defend kick-plays.

"There were signs at half time that we weren't doing what we needed to. "Bradford came with a very simple game-plan and made it work."

Agar refused to blame the massive turn-around in personnel - there are 18 new players in the Wakefield squad this season - for their inconsistency.

"We just needed a few players playing a bit better tonight," he said.

Wakefield Mathers; Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne; John, Smith; Wilkes, Aiton, Southern, Kirmond, Lauitiiti, Washbrook. Subs used: Wood, Raleigh, Johnson, Trout.

Bradford Kearney; Kear, Platt, Lulia, Crookes; Sammut, Jeffries; Kopczak, Diskin, Hargreaves, Bateman, Whitehead, Langley. Subs used: L'Estrange, Scruton, Joseph, Burgess.

Referee B Thaler (Whitehaven).


Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living