Hull Wasps put in a stunning performance on Saturday afternoon to outclass Bradford Maroons. Heading into the game, the Wasps sat just below Bradford in the league in fifth place but have moved up to fourth after the 89-40 victory and are now just two points behind league leaders Stockport Falcons.
For the first time in years, as many as six teams are in the running for the play-offs; Stockport, Rossendale, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Bradford Maroons and now, after four straight wins, Hull Wasps are all in contention for the top-three spots.
The home game on Saturday was a big game for the Hull club, looking to make a big statement to the rest of the league for the first time this season. The game was billed as a definitive game, looking to be a close contest all the way. The opening period of the game certainly looked that way with both sides racking up 17 points each before the first break.
However, the Wasps came out from the rest with a renewed vigour and took the game to Bradford with some fast breaks and excellent defensive work which created a 16-2 run to open up a commanding 16 point lead before half-time.
The home crowd expected a fight back from the visitors after the break but another outstanding period of play from the Wasps restricted Bradford to just 8 points in the quarter, while sinking 23 points themselves.
With the game all but buried, the Wasps didn’t let up. Wasps’ coach Matt Fawcett took the opportunity to rest some senior players while other members of the squad produced another solid performance with a 25-7 run to seal the biggest win of the season at 89-40 for the Wasps.
“It was a huge win for the team today” said Fawcett following the performance.
“We played hard and just played our game how we wanted. After that opening period we knew we had a tough game on our hands but the guys were solid on defence and that opened up opportunities when we broke forward.
“In all honesty, we all looked at this fixture months ago and expected a tight game with only a few points to decide it. But it wasn’t the case in the end and it’s brought us our biggest win of the season so far. This squad has got great potential and we’ve proven it here today. It’s been a solid team performance with everyone working for each other.
“It has set us up nicely for the second half of the season, knowing that we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us. We’ll enjoy it over the Christmas break but we mustn’t get too caught up on this as we’ll lose focus. It’s two points at the end of the day and that’s all. We’ve got some big games in January and we’ll be back in the New Year looking to continue the season as we left it.”
Adrian Blatherwick top scored for the Wasps with 18 points. James Rayner came second with 16 while MVP John Brignell scored 15 points. Hull Wasps will next play Oldham Titans away on Saturday 8th January.
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