Scales rescues Bradford

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

Bradford Bulls 20 Warrington 17

It was two minutes into injury time before Bradford made the advantage of playing most of the match against 12 men, and part of it against 11, fall in their favour.

Jon Scales plunged over in the corner to save the Bulls the ignominy of losing to a depleted side they were never able to dominate, despite the sending-off of Phil Sumner for a high tackle in the 21st minute.

In a thrilling ending to a scrappy and often bad tempered match, Jonathan Davies seemed to have given Warrington victory with a drop goal five minutes from time.

If Bradford had lost they would have only had themselves to blame. Jason Donohue, 15 minutes from the end, inexplicably elected to run the ball from a penalty rather than hand it over for an easy kick at goal that would have given his side a crucial lead.

Bradford led in the first half, two tries from Neil Summers outweighing one from Michael Wainwright. But Davies touched down, despite Warrington's reduction to 11 men with Andy Currier in the sin bin, and the visitors were back in contention by half-time.

When Paul Sculthorpe put them ahead it seemed that Warrington might defy the arithmetic. But in a breathless finish that also featured an all-in brawl, a report of which will be studied by the League, Bradford managed to scrape home. Sharp passing from Robbie Paul and David Myers gave Scales his first Bradford try in his second game for the club.

Bradford Bulls: Simpson (Hall, 28); Moore, Paul, Myers, Scales; Summers, Fox; Boothroyd (Ireland, 26), Hodgkinson, Hamer, Howell, Fairbank, McDermott (Donohue, 40).

Warrington: Harris; Forster, Roper, Davies, Currier; Shelford, Mackey (Penny, 78); Sumner, Thursfield (Sculthorpe, 31), Chambers (Hilton, 46), Cullen, McGuire (Jones, 21), Wainwright.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).

n Frano Botica, one of the greatest goalkickers in the game, will not be returning to Wigan after a spell with the Auckland Warriors. The club have decided to cut their ties with the 32-year-old utility back who has been offered a new deal by the Winfield Cup team.

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