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St Helens 46 Bradford Bulls 22
The Bulls fashioned a spirited second-half fightback but it was not enough to avoid a defeat which sent them closer to the drop.
Facing a St Helens side smarting from a humiliating loss at Hull KR last weekend, Bradford were 28-0 down at half-time but their second-half efforts harvested four tries.
Saints led in the ninth minute when England hooker James Roby collected a short pass from Mark Flanagan to power over from close range.
Bradford conceded a second try in the 17th minute when veteran full-back Paul Wellens broke from inside his own half to score.
Prop Mose Masoe then simply overpowered the Bradford defence to barrel over the line from close range for a third on the half hour.
Some of Saints’ play was delightful and they had a fourth in the 37th minute when Mark Percival went over in the left corner.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Percival turned provider when he sent Adam Swift over in the same spot he had scored moments earlier.
Two minutes after the restart, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook broke upfield and sent Lance Hohaia scampering clear before the Bulls hit back with tries from Luke Gale, Joe Arundel, Adrian Purtell and Foster.
Each one was a well-worked try but Wellens’ second confirmed it was Saints’ night.
FT: St Helens 46 Bradford Bulls 22
80 mins... TRY for Paul Wellens who scores his second late on...
Foster missed the kick... but it's been quite some fightback from the Bulls, who now trail 40-22...
72 mins... TRY for Jamie Foster in the left corner....
63 mins... TRY for Purtell who scores after great work by Arundel and Gale...
Foster kicks his second conversion to make it 40-12...
61 mins... Joe Arundel try after Gale's kick was fumbled in the right corner...
55 mins... TRY for Luke Gale who touches down after the ball rebounded back into his arms...
Joe Arundel on for Adam Henry.... still 40-0...
Percival converted to make it 40-0....
48 mins... TRY for Tommy Makinson who takes Jordan Turner's pass to score in the right corner...
Percival converted but Jay Pitts was injured in the build up to that try and has gone off injured...
42 mins.... TRY for Lance Hohaia after Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook's surging run through the middle...
Second half underway...
Half-time: St Helens 28, Bradford Bulls 0
38 mins... TRY for Adam Swift in the left corner from Mark Percival's neat pass after the Bulls gave away possession...
Percival converts to make it 24-0...
35 mins... TRY for Mark Percival who crosses for St Helens' fourth try in the left corner...
Percival's boot makes it 18-0...
29 mins… TRY for Mose Masoe who barrels over the line from close range after a spell of Bradford pressure which they couldn’t make pay
Bulls enjoying a fine spell of pressure here.... but cannot make it pay...
Promising stuff from the Bulls ends with Brett Kearney finding Fakir with a forward pass...
Good kick from Lee Gaskell sets up field position to attack Saints' line 20 metres out...
Fakir on for Sidlow...
Blythe on for Donaldson...
Good defence from the Bulls after severe pressure from the home side... excellent scrambling defence to keep Saints at bay.... still 12-0...
Percival's second goal has made it 12-0... Danny Addy on for Manuokafoa...
15 mins... TRY for Paul Wellens who scores a trademark try after breaking from halfway to score a fine individual effort...
A delightful handling sequence from St Helens sees them play the ball across the face of the Bulls defence to the left corner but the move comes to nothing... still 6-0...
13 mins... Jon Wilkin grubber kick traps Purtell in his in-goal area... forcing the Bulls to drop-out under their posts...
Bulls have a penalty after Adam Henry is obstructed at the play-the-ball.. but Gale fails to find touch and Saints are back on the attack...
11 mins... Adrian Purtell goes agonisingly close but fails to ground the ball in the left corner after St Helens spilled Luke Gale's high kick... still 6-0...
Mark Percival converts to make it 6-0...
08 mins... James Roby darts over the line to put St Helens ahead after the Bulls were penalised...
Alex Walmsley making his mark with some surging runs through the middle...
05 mins... The Bulls fashion their first decent attacking set but Lee Gaskell's kick is too heavy and Saints have possession again...
Saints defence is formidable so far... straight on top of the Bulls every time they have possession... still scoreless though...
02 mins... Saints almost score but Adam Swift cannot reach Mark Percival's grubber kick in the left corner...
JAMIE FOSTER returns to @OfficialBullsRL action this evening! He and his team-mates are out warming up... #BELONG http://t.co/Nd1zTrZCFp— @OfficialBullsRL 11 July 2014
This IS the Bulls though http://t.co/PWdUscAyMq— @fletchsport 11 July 2014
Not sure that's the Saints pack warming up! http://t.co/dzbUGD3A6Q— @fletchsport 11 July 2014
Just under half an hour until we kick-off here - great night for rugby league!— @Saints1890 11 July 2014
Massive following!!! http://t.co/3pIaR8heaO— @Becki1782 11 July 2014
OFFICIAL confirmation of tonight's team line-ups... http://t.co/TcuRNLdwpz— @OfficialBullsRL 11 July 2014
Wishing the players all the best for tonight and a big thank you to our phenomenal travelling support.— @marcngreen 11 July 2014
St Helens have also won their last four home meetings with Bradford, with the Bulls' last away victory against the Saints coming 34-30 at Knowsley Road on 24 April, 2009.
St Helens have won their last four meetings with Bradford. The Bulls' last victory against the Saints was a 12-8 home success on 17 March, 2012.
Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi.
17. Paul Wellens; 2. Tommy Makinson 3. Jordan Turner, 22. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Lance Hohaia, 12. Jon Wilkin; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 11. Sia Soliola, 28. Luke Thompson.
THE stage is set for @First_Utility @SuperLeague action between James Lowes' @OfficialBullsRL and @Saints1890... http://t.co/EBHVhL7mcT— @OfficialBullsRL 11 July 2014
Jamie Foster and Joe Arundel will tonight return to First:Utility Super League action, after being named in James Lowes' line-up to face St Helens (kick-off 8.00pm).
Foster is to start on the left wing against his former club, with Hull FC loanee Arundel appearing from the interchange bench.
The 23-year-old appears inside left centre Adrian Purtell, as Brett Kearney, Danny Williams and Adam Henry complete the Bradford backline.
Lee Gaskell again partners Luke Gale in the halves, with Manase Manuokafoa, Adam O'Brien and Adam Sidlow making up the front row.
Tom Olbison and Jay Pitts will start in the second row, with loose forward James Donaldson putting the finishing touches to the Bulls' starting 13.
Joining Arundel on the bench are Jamal Fakir, Matty Blythe and Danny Addy.
Referee Robert Hicks will officiate the round-twenty contest, at Langtree Park.
1. Brett Kearney
38. Danny Williams
21. Adam Henry
3. Adrian Purtell
5. Jamie Foster
17. Lee Gaskell
7. Luke Gale
14. Manase Manuokafoa
19. Adam O'Brien
15. Adam Sidlow
33. Jay Pitts
11. Tom Olbison
18. James Donaldson
30. Jamal Fakir
16. Danny Addy
34. Joe Arundel
4. Matty Blythe
In position at Langtree Park. http://t.co/CQ5ALfcl0p— @rosshtanda 11 July 2014
Welcome to Langtree Park as the Bulls face St Helens in tonight's Super League round 20 clash...