BULLS spectacularly imploded yesterday afternoon, as 25 minutes of madness cost them a home play-off berth.

They were cruising at 16-0 up after half an hour, but two tries just before the break from opponents Whitehaven sowed some seeds of doubt.

And Bulls completely collapsed at the start of the second half, with their visitors running through at will.

When the exceptional Lachlan Walmsley scored Whitehaven’s sixth try on 63 minutes, before converting it himself, Bulls had shipped 36 unanswered points either side of the break.

Ben Evans’ late try, his second, was little consolation, and the defeat means Bulls are now at Batley this coming Saturday in the Championship elimination play-offs (3:15pm kick off).

The Bulldogs ground out an excellent 12-10 win at Halifax to nick fourth spot, taking advantage of Bulls losing all of their last three games.

With their win here, Whitehaven secured a brilliant sixth placed finish, overtaking London on the final day, after the Broncos lost 32-22 at York. They visit Fax in the play-offs next weekend.

But Whitehaven’s chances of reaching the play-offs looked dead in the water after 30 minutes, with Bulls completely dominating the early exchanges.

They opened the scoring after only five minutes with a bizarre try.

Whitehaven made a meal of carrying the ball away from their own posts, and it was stripped from them by Ben Evans, who bulldozed his way through to score.

Brough made the easy conversion and a rampant home side soon doubled their lead.

They worked the ball left, with Brough finding Aaron Murphy for an easy try.

Brough’s kick made it 12-0 after eight minutes, and Bulls were next to score too.

Fine footwork from Rhys Evans almost got him over for a third and though he was stopped short, Bradford worked it out to the left wing.

Standing there was David Foggin-Johnston, who barged past his man to score.

Tom Doyle waltzed through for what looked to be a fourth for Bulls, but play was pulled back for an infringement against the hosts.

And with the merest flick of a switch, after that it was all Whitehaven.

They blew their first real chance of the game though. Dion Aiye charged through the middle and slipped the ball to Louis Jouffret.

But with space to burn in front of him, the stand-off literally dropped the ball.

Jouffret made up for that handling error moments later. His clever kick was reeled in by Walmsley, who produced a sensational offload for interchange Tom Walker to go over and score.

Walmsley kick made it 16-6 and from their next set, the Cumbrians scored again.

The Jouffret and Walmsley kick and catch combination worked once more, and this time the ball was flicked to back to Jouffret, who sold a dummy and went over.

Walmsley converted, and from a strong position, Bulls were now only 16-12 in front.

It soon got much worse. The visitors got their third immediately after the break thanks to a sensational run through the middle by Wilkinson.

He completely outfoxed Brad England, before playing the ball to the right for former Bull Gregg McNally to cross by the posts.

A fourth try for Whitehaven was not far away. Walmsley got through far too easily, and at the last moment, he slipped it wide right to Chris Taylor, who went over.

Walmsley converted both tries to give the Cumbrians an eight-point lead.

Bulls conceded a fifth try in 11 minutes when Aiye broke through the middle before laying a simple pass off to Jouffret, who went over under the posts for his second.

Walmsley converted that to make it 30-16 and he got a deserved try of his own 15 minutes later, reeling a high kick in ahead of George Flanagan, before spinning over to score by the posts.

He converted his own try to put the visitors 20 points in front.

All too late, Bulls finally showed some fight. But they wasted the good work of Eldon Myers, who had gone on a sensational 80-metre run down the right, before seeing a Sam Hallas try chalked off for an infringement.

Ben Evans scooted under the posts from close range late on, with Hallas converting, before Walmsley missed a last-gasp penalty to prove he is human after all.

An alarming defeat, and on this evidence, Bulls can forget about reaching the promised land of Super League any time soon.

BULLS: Kear, Brown, R. Evans, Oakes, Foggin-Johnston, Brough, Lilley, B. Evans, Doyle, Crossley, England, Murphy, Hallas. Interchanges: Flanagan, Fleming, Walker, Myers.

WHITEHAVEN: McNally, Bulman, Taylor, Mossop, Walmsley, Jouffret, Williams, Thornley, Newton, Graham, King, Cooper, Wilkinson. Interchanges: Aiye, Walker, Bradley, Dawson.