St Helens too good for Bradford .

First and second clashed at Knowsley Road and it was St Helens who proved to be victorious with a fine 34-26 win over Bradford Bulls.

Bradford started the brighter and they were rewarded as former Huddersfield centre Brandon Costin went over. Paul Deacon goaled and The Bulls were good value for their lead.

In true Saints fashion Ian Millward's side came storming back as two tries in as many minutes from the inspirational Paul Sculthorpe, both of which he converted, gave them the upper hand. The game then began to get away from Bradford as prop Darren Britt barged Mike Withers out of the way for Saints' third try of a pulsating half. Sculthorpe again tagged on the extras.

The next score was always going to be important and fortunately for The Bulls it went the way of Bradford as Costin accepted Deacon's kick for his second of the night, and with Deacon's conversion the game was delicately poised at half-time.

Saints, however, increased their lead early into the second period as Paul Wellens scooted over and Sculthorpe was once more on cue with the extras. The Bulls were in no mood to fold at that stage, though, and Withers's try was just reward. Deacon tagged on the conversion and then added a penalty following an infringement by John Stankevitch, which saw the player sent to the bin.

But just when Saints appeared to be on the ropes they showed their true colours as Darren Albert raced over and with a further Sculthorpe goal Saints led by 10 points, meaning Tevita Vaikona's late effort was only mere consolation.

Before time was up Mike Forshaw and Sonny Nickle were both sent to the bin following a monumental bust-up, before Saints added a touch of gloss to their victory with Wellens's second try of the night. St Helens 34 v 26 Bradford Bulls Full-time Tries: Albert Britt Sculthorpe (2) Wellens (2) Conversions: Sculthorpe (5) Bradford Tries: Costin (2) Vaikona Withers Conversions: Deacon (4) Penalties: Deacon 20:00 Kickoff St Helens: Albert , Hoppe , Gleeson , Newlove , Stewart , Sculthorpe , Wellens , Britt , Cunningham , Nickle , Stankevitch , Shiels , Joynt , Ward , Bennettt , Higham , Martyn Subs:

Bradford Bulls: Withers , McAvoy , Naylor , Costin , Vaikona , Paul , Deacon , Vagana , Lowes , Fielden , Gartner , Peacock , Forshaw , Vainikolo , McDermott , Gilmour , Moore Subs: