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Bradford coach Brian Noble paid tribute to the character of his players after they fought back from 27-12 down to snatch a thrilling 28-27 victory over Wigan at the JJB Stadium.
The Bulls, beaten in the first two matches, had one foot on the bottom rung of the Super League ladder but they roared back against the fast-fading Warriors to run in three tries in the last 11 minutes.
Full-back Michael Withers, playing his first match since October?s Grand Final, was their hero with the all-important try two minutes from the end while Paul Deacon maintained his composure to kick the winning conversion.
?We?ve been beaten in the last few seconds a few times,? said Noble. ?This shows the character in the team is intact. When we start doing the things we practice, we are going to be a force in this competition.
?I am delighted for them. They fully deserved it. I didn?t think they were going to be beaten because of the way they were speaking in the changing rooms beforehand and even at half-time. They had a huge belief in themselves.
?We conspired to defeat ourselves in the first two games. We improved the week before and we?ve improved again but we?ve still got some way to go.?
Inspired by playmaking scrum-half Dennis Moran and two-try centre David Vaealiki, Wigan looked home and dry when substitute Kevin Brown?s 62nd-minute try put them 15 points clear.
But the Warriors? injuries piled up - they lost Gareth Hock (knee) and Danny Orr (head) before the break and Danny Sculthorpe (hamstring) and Bob Beswick (knee) in the second half - as they were powerless to halt the Bradford charge.
?We did everything but win the game,? admitted coach Denis Betts. ?Bradford got a sniff towards the end and showed you don?t become world champions and win a couple of Grand Finals by being also-rans.
?Once you get a taste for it, you know how to win and they came after us.
?There was a lot of inexperience out there. When we won the game, we just didn?t have it in ourselves to be able to control that last 10 minutes.
?You could see the momentum swinging away and that bit of extra power and size started to really pay. Their offloads started to hurt us in the last 10 or 12 minutes.?
Thanks to: http://www.superleague.co.uk for another excellent article.