Richards runs Bulls ragged as Wigan enjoy a lap of honour

Wigan 34 Bradford 12

Wigan prefaced the presentation of the Super League Leaders' Trophy with a convincing victory last night over one of the few teams to have beaten them this season.

The lap of honour around the DW Stadium was almost as strenuous as the match, with Bradford, for all their honest endeavour, unable to compete.

Pat Richards' two tries and three goals made it a night of milestones for him, but his and other players' thoughts will have wandered from time to time to next weekend, when Leeds or Hull will be the visitors in the first round of the play-offs.

If it was a night of celebration for Wigan, then Bradford's last-minute victory over them in March was one of the very few things worth recalling in an otherwise profoundly depressing season. Like many clubs, they will have a considerable turnover of players during the winter, with Super League's oldest player, Steve Menzies, one who knew he was making his last appearance for them last night.

Wigan put themselves under pressure by conceding an early penalty, however, and it took them some time to start looking like table-toppers. They were starting to click into gear when Sam Tomkins had what looked like a typically opportunist try disallowed for an obscure obstruction and, after 14 minutes, they did take the lead. Bradford's problems started when Joel Tomkins intercepted from Andy Lynch. The Warriors worked the ball methodically to the other end, with Thomas Leuluai and Liam Farrell combining to send George Carmont over.

The second try was the work of two of Wigan's departing players, with Mark Riddell's weaving run from dummy-half giving the crowd the chance to acclaim one of their favourites, the Salford-bound Iafeta Paleaaesina, whose popularity has been unaffected by his paucity of playing time.

Sean O'Loughlin provided the perfect cut-out pass for Pat Richards to cruise in for his 28th try of the season, a Super League regular season record for the club and a marker for the huge contribution he has made this year.

Bradford's resistance was starting to look flimsy by the time that Joel Tomkins took Leuluai's pass to brush through some weak tackling. The difference between Super League XV's successes and failures was all too apparent by half-time.

Richards was over again straight after the break, thanks to Riddell's surging run and the former Bulls hero Paul Deacon's pinpoint kick. It was as well for the Bulls that he was having a rare off-day with his goal-kicking, missing a third attempt in a row.

Farrell's knock-on spoilt what promised to be a spectacular length-of-the-field try as Wigan threatened to run riot and Carmont's pass and Richards' kick ahead almost produced No 30 for the Irish winger.

The game had lapsed into a curious, half-paced tempo, but Bradford at least deserved some credit for not falling apart completely. They could do little about it, though, when Leuluai's lofted pass sent Darrell Goulding into a vacant right corner, with Richards' conversion from the touchline bringing him level with Andy Farrell's record for the most points by anyone in a regular Super League season.

Craig Kopczak brought Bradford a late consolation, but knocked on from the restart to invite Goulding to reply. That gave Richards another difficult kick, which he could not quite nail to break Farrell's record. Lynch's last-minute effort gave a little more gloss to Bradford's part in proceedings.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Goulding, Marsh, Carmont, Richards; Deacon, Leuluai; Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Farrell, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used Paleaaesina, Prescott, Tuson, Gleeson.

Bradford: Platt; Sheriffe, Sykes, Menzies, Finigan; Kearney, L'Estrange; Scruton, Godwin, Lynch, Worrincy, Whitehead, Langley.Substitutes used Hall, Olbison, Kopczak, Addy.

Referee J Child (Dewsbury).

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week