Wakefield 16 – 32 Bradford

I’ll admit it; I was wondering if Bradford had blown it. They were still in the lead, but with Wakefield having scored two quick tries in succession it appeared the Bulls had surrendered the momentum going into the final ten minutes. 

History now shows that not only was I wrong, but that Bradford also found themselves a second wind to add another two tries to their tally to run out the victors by 16 points. This is probably a fair reflection on a game where Bradford seemed to be the better side for the most part yet somehow managed to offer Wakefield chances that they couldn’t capitalise on.

Probably the most extraordinary facet of this Bull revival in the past few weeks has been their reinvention as an attractive passing team with threat and guile out wide, seemingly at odds with the powerful forward game they are usually associated with. Both Paul Sykes and Ricky Sheriffe on the right side of the pitch seemed able to break the Wakefield defense (although if Wakefield had come back, Sheriffe would have ruefully looked back on blowing one of the easiest tries he could have scored after knocking on Ben Jeffries’ lovely chip kick). With Steve Menzies and Sam Burgess on fire in the pack, it was no wonder that Bradford ended up on top.

Credit to Wakefield though for not giving up. They were denied by the video ref on a few occasions (though only the obstruction call on Danny Sculthorpe was debatable, and I think it was the right call). They really should have been long out of the game going into the final quarter, so for them to pull it back in the manner that they did says a lot about their character. As has been well documented, it’s not been an easy season off the field for Wakefield and I think that after an admirable start the physical and emotional toll is beginning to show. However, Wakefield have overcome adversity already this season, so I think a close defeat to an on-form side is something they will find a way to get over.

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