Wakefield Trinity Wildcats defeated Bradford Bulls 24-16 in a thrilling encounter today in the Million Pound Game at Belle Vue in front of 7,236 spectators.
In a game in which the tension rose throughout the 80 minutes, it was a late try by hooker Scott Moore that finally secured the result for the Wildcats.
Despite never being in the lead, Bradford were competitive throughout the game, and they had a crucial first-half try by Danny Addy disallowed when the ball cannoned off his chest.
The Wildcats had gone ahead in the fifteenth minute with a try from Danny Kirmond from a fine Pita Godinet pass, with Joe Arundel adding the goal.
Apart from Addy’s disallowed effort, there was no further score in the first half, but Wakefield extended their lead after 44 minutes, when Anthony Mullally went over from a great dummy-half pass from Moore.
Bradford had looked disheartened at that point, but they bounced back five minutes later with a try in the corner by Danny Williams that came from a remarkable pass round the back from Adrian Purtell, who was a mighty presence for the Bulls throughout the game. Addy’s conversion went in off the post.
And soon afterwards they scored again, when Matty Blythe touched down after Dane Nielsen had offloaded near the Wakefield line, although this time Addy couldn’t add the goal.
Wakefield increased their lead to 18-10 when Danny Washbrook got over from a Jacob Miller pass, with Tansey converting, but the Bulls pulled it back when Purtell bludgeoned his way through three defenders for Addy to add the goal again, making it 18-16 after 65 minutes.
Crucially, however, Addy could not convert a penalty that was awarded to the Bulls three minutes from the end, and when Godinet stripped the ball from Dale Ferguson in what looked like a two-man tackle he wasn’t penalised, and Wakefield created the position for Moore to go over for the final try, with Tansey’s goal making the final score 24-16.
A full report, photos and analysis will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.