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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there