Super League: Bradford Bulls defeat Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers
Last Updated: 16/02/13 7:03pm
Bradford made it two wins from two at home this year with a 38-12 victory over a Castleford side that finished the game at the Provident Stadium with 11 men.
Brett Kearney grabbed a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls - who have now lost only twice in 19 games between the two in the Super League era - came out on top in a game that was firmly in the balance for an hour.
Already without the suspended Rangi Chase, the Tigers weren't helped by the sin-binning of both Justin Carney and Jamie Ellis, allowing their opponents to run up the score in the closing stages.
After seeing Jarrod Sammut fail to ground the ball in spectacular fashion over the line Kearney broke the deadlock in the 14th minute, the Australian on hand to accept Elliot Kear's offload after his own up-and-under had caused problems in the Castleford defence.
A raft of penalties allowed Castleford to level matters, Ellis going over next to the posts, and when Danny Addy was the next Bull to offend soon after referee Steve Ganson pulled out the yellow card for the first time on the night.
The home team still hit the front again before the break thanks to Adam Sidlow's close-range score, only for the Tigers to claw their way back at the start of the second half.
Kirk Dixon marked his return from injury by finishing off a superb break that had all been started by a dubious pass to Grant Millington. The forward shrugged off one tackler before offloading to Jordan Tansey, who spotted Dixon out wide and kicked perfectly for the winger to claim on the run.
Half-back Ellis added his second conversion to make it 12 apiece and, at that stage, the game seemed to be up for grabs.
Even when Bradford produced some excellent handling skills, including a flicked pass out the back of the hand by Kearney, to set up Matty Blythe, it was still difficult to work exactly who would take the two points.
A high shot on Sammut by Michael Shenton allowed Foster to kick two more points and then Castleford's hopes of a comeback disappeared when Carney and Ellis both saw yellow in the space of three minutes.
Chev Walker capped a fine personal performance with the 99th try of his career before Kearney crossed twice more, completing the third treble of his career. Winger Foster converted all of them to finish with 14 points.