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Dragons finally find fire to shock Bulls

06/04/2009 07:23:21 AM Comments (0)

Catalans coach Kevin Walters said he never lost faith in his side after they produced one of the most dramatic Challenge Cup comeback wins in history.

Despite falling 26-0 behind to Super League rivals Bradford, the French club managed to win the fourth-round tie 40-38 in front of their home fans in Perpignan.

Halfback Thomas Bosc led the extraordinary recovery with a 20-point haul, including two tries and seven goals, as the 2007 finalists won for only the second time this season.

"At 26-0 you never stop believing but I knew it was getting harder," said Walters.

"We needed a bit of luck but we got that and then the players were just brilliant. I'm really pleased for them and the fans.

"They've been so good for the last six or seven weeks and they all deserved what happened here.

"We knew if we were to have any chance in that second half, Thomas Bosc had to stand up. And, to his credit, he did and he was fantastic."

For Bradford coach Steve McNamara the disappointment of this defeat was compounded by the fact that his side had blown a lead for the second time in two weeks following their two-point Super League defeat by Castleford.

"It's probably as much as we've hurt ever right at this moment in time," he said.

"We blew the game at the end and it was poor for the last 35 minutes.

"We'd controlled up to then and I'd hoped we have learned some lessons from last week but we didn't apply them here."

Elsewhere holders St Helens remained on course for a fourth-successive Challenge Cup trophy after a 22-18 win over the Super League champions Leeds.

First-half tries from Ade Gardner and James Roby put the Saints 10-6 up at the break and further scores from Matt Gidley and Paul Wellens in a key seven-minute spell pushed them out to 20-6 in front.

It all left Leeds with too much to do and Saints coach Mick Potter said the performance of England forward Jon Wilkin, who tied Leeds down with some clever kicks despite being played out of position at stand-off, had been crucial to the Lancashire club's latest win over their arch-rivals.

"Jon is a very good player," said Potter. "I think you could put him in any position from one to 13 and he would do a very good job."

Leeds coach Brian McClennan was frank in his assessment.

"The cold hard truth is that we didn't play well enough on the day and that's what you have got to do in the big games.

"St Helens kicked really well - 40-20s are big plays and Wilkin did a good job," the New Zealander added.

In the day's other fourth-round ties, teenager Stephen Myler's late try gave Super League strugglers Salford a 22-18 win over 2008 runners-up Hull.

Meanwhile Wigan were given a scare by Championship side Barrow before winning 32-20. There there were no such problems for Castleford in a 64-20 victory over third-tier Keighley.

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