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Round 8: Bradford go
down to Warrington
Reigning champions Bradford lost ground on the engage Super League leaders after crashing to their first home defeat for 10 months by 22-18 to Warrington in an error-strewn match at Odsal.
Both sides scored four tries in the clinging mud but Bulls marksman Paul Deacon missed with three of his four conversion attempts.
Warrington skipper Lee Briers had the easier chances, kicking three from three as the Wolves repeated last season?s surprise win at Odsal.
Bradford made the brighter start and teenage centre Karl Pryce doubled his try tally for the season with two scores in the first 13 minutes but the slow-starting Wolves gradually took control.
The home side ought to have scored after 90 seconds when winger Lesley Vainikolo was first to reach Iestyn Harris? grubber kick but failed to control the touchdown.
Pryce made no mistake, however, when Warrington winger Henry Fa?afili lost the ball near his own line to give the Bulls man a gift try.
The Wolves hit back when half-back Chris Bridge, one of five former Bulls players in their ranks, raced onto Briers? delicate kick to the line and the skipper?s goal edged his side in front.
Pryce grabbed his second try on 13 minutes after Fa?afili had tried to intercept Jamie Langley?s long pass but Deacon was once more off target with the conversion.
Warrington twice conceded possession from the restart but Bradford too found handling difficult in the greasy conditions and they surrendered the initiative to the visitors in the second quarter.
Prop Paul Wood took Logan Swann?s pass out of the tackle to plunge over for a second try and Briers got Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson into a gap for him to sidestep past full-back Michael Withers for another score 10 minutes before half-time, when they led 18-8.
The Bulls closed the gap to four points early in the second half when prop Joe Vagana, who had earlier been placed on report for use of his elbow, took Harris? pass from dummy half to crash over for his first try of the year which Deacon converted.
But Briers broke up a promising Bradford move with a timely interception to set up the position for Fa?afili to score a breakaway try that ultimately proved decisive.
Centre Ben Harris scored a fourth try for the Bulls on 64 minutes after another astute pass from his namesake to give his side hope - but Warrington defended stoutly to preserve their lead.
Bradford (8) 18. Tries: Pryce 2, Vagana, B. Harris. Goals: Deacon.
Warrington (18) 22. Tries: Bridge, Wood, M. Gleeson, Fa?afili. Goals: Briers 3.
Bradford: Withers, Bai, B. Harris, Pryce, Vainikolo, I. Harris, Deacon, Fielden, Henderson, Lynch, Hape, McKenna, Langley. Replacements: Vagana, Ferres, Watene, Gene.
Warrington: Grose, Fa?afili, Martin Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Reardon, Briers, Bridge, Leikvoll, Clarke, Wood, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood. Replacements: Sullivan, Parker, Noone, Rauhihi.
Referee: A Klein (London)