Super League: Bradford Bulls 16-8 Wigan Warriors

Matty Blythe
Matty Blythe's second-half try secured a fifth win of the season for Bradford Bulls
Bradford Bulls (12) 16
Tries: Williams, Arundel, Blythe Goals: Gale 2
Wigan Warriors (4) 8
Tries: Manfredi 2

Relegated Bradford Bulls caused one of the shocks of the Super League season by beating reigning champions Wigan.

Wigan, who missed the chance to go second in the table, went in front with a try from young winger Dom Manfredi.

But the home side fought back and led at half-time as Danny Williams and Joe Arundel both touched down.

Matty Blythe's second-half score extended the lead, and although Manfredi replied with his second, Bradford held on for the win.

Unhappy hunting ground
Wigan Warriors have lost all five Super League fixtures that they have played in West Yorkshire this season, falling to defeats at Castleford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Wakefield and now Bradford.

Their victory may have come too late to preserve top-flight status, but it will be a huge morale boost as the Bulls prepare for life in the Championship next season.

Meanwhile, Wigan's chances of winning the League Leaders' Shield for a second time in three seasons will depend on the two clubs above them, St Helens and Leeds, slipping up in the final weeks of the regular season.

The home side made a bright start at Odsal but could not turn their early pressure into points and were punished when Matty Bowen, back in the side after recovering from a minor injury, set up Manfredi to score from Wigan's first attack.

But Bradford, whose relegation from Super League was confirmed by defeat at Huddersfield in their previous outing, surged into a 12-4 lead as on-loan winger Williams crossed for his first try for the club and Adam O'Brien sent Arundel over following a scrum.

Bradford extended their lead mid-way through the second period when some inventive play sent Blythe over in the corner, but Luke Gale was unable to land the resulting goal, which kept the visitors within two converted scores.

Manfredi's second could have resulted in a nervous finale, but the Bulls rarely looked like succumbing to defeat and comfortably secured their fifth win of the campaign, as well as their first since James Lowes became head coach in June.

Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes:

"I'm not delighted for myself - I'm delighted for the boys. They've worked extremely hard since I've been at the club and I'm overjoyed for them.

"We spoke about not throwing the towel in - we know where we are now and some of the lads don't really know what's happening with their rugby next year.

"We were tested on plenty of occasions again today but we stood up really well and I could see a performance like that coming today."

Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane:

"I'm angry and disappointed, but I must commend Bradford. They were the best team and they fully deserved their win.

"We have to be mentally tougher and I know we can perform a lot better than that. That's down to me as head coach - it was far from acceptable but we know that.

"We turned up with the wrong attitude and got what we deserved."

Sunday's line-ups

Bradford Bulls: Kearney; Kear, Henry, Arundel, Williams; Gaskell, Gale; Manuokafoa, O'Brien, Fakir, Olbison, Pitts, Donaldson.

Replacements: Sidlow, Mellor, Blythe, Addy.

Wigan Warriors: Bowen; Charnley, Goulding, Sarginson, Manfredi; Williams, Smith; Flower, Powell, Crosby, Farrell, Bateman, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: Taylor, Hughes, Clubb, Sutton.

Referee: Robert Hicks

Attendance: 6,535