Gale shines on his return but Bradford Bulls exit the Challenge Cup (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Luke Gale shines on his return but Bradford Bulls exit the Challenge Cup
Warrington 32 Bulls 16
Joel Monaghan scored a hat-trick for much-fancied Warrington as the Bulls crashed out of the Carnegie Challenge Cup at the fifth-round stage this afternoon despite a brave performance.
Bolstered by the inclusion of fit-again scrum-half Luke Gale, Bradford took the game to their hosts and Adrian Purtell saw a try claim turned down by video referee Steve Ganson in the ninth minute.
Yet three minutes later the Australian centre was celebrating after touching down for an opportunist score which Gale converted to put Mick Potter's men 6-0 up.
Warrington gradually moved through the gears and Monaghan went over in the right corner in the 23rd minute after a suspiciously forward-looking pass from Lee Briers.
As the interval approached, the Wolves struck twice in deadly fashion, first Brett Hodgson weaving his way through the Bulls' defence before a bad mistake from Bryn Hargreaves allowed Chris Riley to race clear from halfway.
Four minutes after the break, Monaghan touched down a teasing grubber kick from Hodgson and it got even worse five minutes later when former Bulls youngster Ryan Atkins powered over from 40 metres.
Bradford refused to lie down and conjured the try of the game when Keith Lulia finished off a brilliant handling sequence, leaving the scores at 26-10 in Warrington's favour.
Briers then had a try disallowed by the video referee and Warrington lost prop Chris Hill the sin-bin for interference with 15 minutes remaining and despite a late converted try for Olivier Elima, the Bulls conceded a sixth try in the dying embers.
Monaghan completed his treble in the right corner and Hodgson kicked his fourth goal.