WARRINGTON Wolves took a six-point advantage into the break after trading seven first half tries with hosts Bradford Bulls.
Luke George, named in the centres on the team sheet, was replaced before kick off by Jamie Foster and he went on to score the Bulls’ first try of the game.
That came in reply to Anthony England’s opener after five minutes before the sides traded tries through Brett Kearney, Kevin Penny, Tom Olbison, Chris Bridge and Joel Monaghan.
Luke Gale’s high up and under was well taken Penny, who held onto the ball despite a big hit from Adam Henry in an early arm wrestle.
Gareth O’Brien kicked for touch when Wolves were awarded a penalty and from a well-worked set saw the ball find its way off of an attempted Bulls interception to England.
Despite the interference the prop was able to gather and crossed for his first try for Wolves six minutes into his second start this season. Bridge converted.
But five minutes later Bulls pulled a try back to the delight of the majority inside the bowl, Kearney picked up at dummy half and Lee Gaskell was able to spin a looping pass out of Penny’s reach and into the arms of Foster.
The man who only made his way into the team minutes before kick off was able to scoot to the left hand corner from close range and narrow the deficit, Foster was unable to add the extras to his own score from wide out.
It would be Bulls who would increase their lead on 15 minutes when Bridge, the star of last weekend’s Challenge Cup win, attempted a blind offload and none of his teammates were able to gather.
Adrian Purtell was the man the collect and with Penny and full back Matty Russell for company he fed Kearney.
Kearney hit a gap and darted from 10 metres inside his own half, managing to shake of the attentions of Wolves’ recovering winger and full back, to find the corner. Foster converted from a difficult angle.
Bridge would make amends two minutes later when the hosts failed to find safety from a drop out in their in-goal area.
Starting again in the half backs he added his fifth try in two games when hitting the line at speed and breaking the Bulls’ defence to dive over in the slopping corner of the Bulls’ bowl.
Bridge added the extras himself, almost appearing to chip the ball over from the touchline.
Within five minutes Wolves had increased their lead further. A Superb break from Ryan Atkins took him into the Bulls’ half and he was able to offload to Joel Monaghan in the tackle.
The Australian ate up a further 10 metres before handing over to the pacey Penny for the winger to go the distance and score his fourth try since his return. Bridge added to his ever-growing points’ haul from the kick.
With 11 minutes of a free-scoring half remaining it was Bulls who drew next blood. A period of sustained pressure for the hosts had Wolves pinned on their own try line and when Francis Cummins’ side regained possession replacement Tom Olbison was able to crash over the line from close range.
Foster reduced the deficit to two points with the conversion.
Rhys Evans was able to side step his past two would-be tacklers and take Wolves into opposition territory with Ben Harrison, back in the side after a wrist injury, continuing to drive to the visitors in Bulls’ territory.
As Wolves moved the ball to the right hand side through the hands of Atkins and O’Brien it eventually found Joel Monaghan and he eased through the tackle to cross in the corner. Bridge’s attempted conversion was unsuccessful for the first time in the match.