Iestyn Harris was dropped for the first time in his four seasons at Bradford, with Ben Jeffries preferred as the starting stand off. That and switching Shontayn Hape back in to the centres immediately gave the Bulls a better balanced look and after a solid five minutes on the attack they took the lead through Paul Deacon's penalty.
Wigan were guilty of persistent off side and, after only eight minutes, Thomas Leuluai were sent to the sin bin, with the former Wigan hooker, Wayne Godwin, darting over for the games' first try from the tap penalty.
It was hard to imagine starting a game any worse, but Michael Platt threw Wigan a lifeline when he put his hat into touch with players free outside him. Wigan seized their chance with George Carmont diving onto Trent Barrett's grubber kick.
Pat Richard's conversion and his 27th minute penalty after Bradford became the side struggling to get back their 10 meters brought Wigan level. The sin binnings were also evened up when Glenn Morrison was ordered to take a 10 minute rest for lying on in the tackle.
Despite that, Bradford should have been back in the lead if Paul Sykes had been able to pick up a loose ball from Deacon's kick. Punishment for that failure was instantaneous, with Wigan going tot he other end and scoring through Darrell Goulding after Gareth Hock had made the initial break.
Wigan: Mathers; Colbon, Goulding, Carmont, Richards; Barrett, Leuluai; Coley, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hoc, Hansen, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Fielden, Prescott, McIlorum, Tomkins.
Bradford: Platt; Evans, Sykes, Hape, Tadulala; Jeffries, Deacon; Vagana, Godwin, Lynch, Morrison, Langley, Burgess. Substitutes used: Feather, Nero, Harris, Finnigan.
Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).Reuse content