Warrington 32 Bradford 28: Gleeson keeps Wolves in hunt as Bradford challenge slips behind

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The Independent Online

Warrington kept their drive for a play-off place alive, coming from behind to beat one of their top-six rivals in another feast of points at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Trailing for most of the match, the Wolves outlasted their visitors in the second half and it is now Bradford who are in more danger of missing out at the end of the season.

The difference that Paul Deacon, absent since mid-May with a hamstring injury, makes to the Bulls was all too obvious when his kick took a nasty bounce off Adrian Morley for Andy Lynch to swoop for the game's opening try after seven minutes.

Within a couple more minutes Bradford were over again through Chris Nero. Warrington needed a way into the game and they found it when Matt King produced an incisive pass to send Martin Gleeson away from inside his own 20.

Semi Tadulala responded with a try for Bradford, but once more, it was Gleeson who threw his side a lifeline, taking Lee Briers' long pass to step over in the corner.

The good work was largely undone immediately after half-time when Michael Platt went through some weak tackling to score. A cheap turnover of possession allowed Warrington to hit back through Chris Hicks' diagonal run. The Wolves' two other Australians then combined for King to pluck Michael Monaghan's lightning pass out of the air for the equalising try.

The momentum was with the Wolves now and when Platt was penalised for not playing the ball, they scored through Louis Anderson to take the lead for the first time.

David Solomona was sent to the sin-bin but back came Bradford through Ben Jeffries' try, yet Warrington deservedly held on to put four points between them and the Bulls in the table.

Warrington: Hicks; Riley, Gleeson, King, Penny; Briers, Monaghan; Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, L Anderson, Westwood, V Anderson. Substitutes: Grix, Parker, Cooper, Harrison.

Bradford: Platt; Halley, Evans, Nero, Tadulala; Jeffries, Deacon; Vagana, Harris, Lynch, Solomona, Finnigan, Langley. Substitutes: Cook, Godwin, Kopczak, Feather.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).