BRADFORD BULLS could be relegated from Super League next weekend after their latest thumping of a nightmare season.
Serial Grand Finallists a decade ago, famously reaching Old Trafford in five successive seasons and emerging victorious on three of those occasions, the Bulls’ time will soon be up.
Facing a St Helens side smarting from a humiliating loss at Hull KR last weekend, Bradford were 28-0 down at half-time before fashioning a spirited second-half fightback which harvested four tries.
Bradford head coach Jimmy Lowes now faces a major rebuilding job to assemble a squad capable of returning to the Super League at the first attempt next season and there is every chance that the Bulls’ fate will be sealed next Sunday should they lose against Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.
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 struggled to create any openings and they 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’s 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 and Tommy Makinson went over 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’s second late on confirmed it was comfortably Saints’s night.
St Helens: Wellens; Makinson, Turner, Percival, Swift; Hohaia, Wilkin; Amor, Roby, Walmsley, Flanagan, Soliola, Thompson. Substitutes: Masoe, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Manu, Laffranchi.
Bradford Bulls: Kearney; Williams, Henry, Purtell, Foster; Gaskell, Gale; Manuokafoa, O’Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Pitts, Donaldson. Substitutes: Blythe, Addy, Fakir, Arundel
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).