Mon, Oct 02, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Bradford move within a match of Grand Final


New Zealand winger Lesley Vainikolo scored a breathtaking 90m solo try as Bradford beat Warrington 40-24 to move one match away from a sixth successive Grand Final appearance.

The Super League champions needed Vainikolo's stirring effort to kill off the Wolves, who had earlier battled back from 18-0 down to take a 22-20 lead.

Bradford hit back with three tries in the last 13 minutes to gain a deserved victory and secure a trip to Hull in next Friday's final eliminator, with St Helens awaiting the winners at Old Trafford on Oct. 14.

Prop Andy Lynch, the Bulls' player of the year, went off just three minutes into the tie and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle.

But Bradford overcame the loss at Odsal.

Full-back Michael Withers grabbed a hat-trick of tries but it was Paul Deacon who emerged the hero.

He shaded his half-back duel with Warrington skipper Lee Briers and finished with a personal haul of 24 points from two tries and eight goals.

The champions scored with virtually their first attack with Terry Newton, Paul Deacon, Brett Ferres and Shontayne Hape keeping the ball alive for Withers to touch down.

Four minutes later Withers pounced for a second try.

Deacon added both conversions to make it 12-0 and it got even better for the Bulls when the scrum-half added a third try on 16 minutes.

But Warrington fought back through tries to Briers, Henry Fa'afili, Toa Kohe-Love and Stuart Reardon.

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