Bulls stand firm for victory
Bradford withstand heavy pressure to see off Castleford
Last Updated: 12/02/12 6:04pm
Brett Kearney: Scored Bradford's third and final try
Bradford bagged their first win of the new Stobart Super League season as a fine defensive effort helped them inflict a 20-12 defeat on Castleford at the PROBIZ Coliseum.
The Bulls, who were easily beaten by Catalan Dragons on the first weekend of the season, mounted an impressive rear-guard action throughout and took their limited chances to inflict the Tigers' first defeat under new coach Ian Millward.
Castleford dominated for long periods in heavy conditions but were unable to make it count as tries from Jarrod Sammut, Tom Burgess and Brett Kearney saw Bradford home.
The Tigers were the first to threaten but they wasted an excellent attacking position when Adam Milner's kick was too strong and the ball went dead.
The visitors then began to press but Elliot Whitehead was foiled by Richard Owen's try-saving tackle and Adrian Purtell was halted inches from the line after chasing his own kick.
Bradford took the lead in the ninth minute when Luke Gale's high kick was collected by Kearney who put in Jarrod Sammut for a try that Gale, an influential figure throughout, converted.
Castleford rallied strongly but Whitehead then intercepted Danny Orr's pass 15 yards from his own try-line to relieve further pressure on the Bulls.
With Rangi Chase pulling the strings, the Tigers were soon pressing again and Jason Crooks did well to smother a dangerous kick in his own in-goal area.
The Tigers then had several more chances but were unable to make them count and they paid the price shortly before the interval when the Bulls doubled their lead.
Jamie Langley sent substitute Burgess plunging over from close range and Gale added the extras to put the visitors 12-0 up at the break.
The Tigers continued to come forward after the break and finally opened their account 10 minutes into the second half when they capitalised after Gale had failed to find touch from a penalty.
Chase, Owen and Ryan McGoldrick made the opening for Josh Griffin to score near the corner and Kirk Dixon nailed a difficult conversion to reduce the deficit to six points.
But the Bulls were nearly in again five minutes later but Castleford's cover got across to bundle Jason Crooks into touch at the corner.
Castleford hit back themselves and their chances received a boost when Bradford substitute Heath L'Estrange was sin-binned for holding down in the 56th minute before the hosts went close again when Griffin was unable to catch Chase's kick when a try looked certain.
Gale then eased the pressure by edging the Bulls further ahead with a 66th-minute penalty after Castleford's Jake Emmitt was sin-binned.
The Bulls then sealed victory three minutes from time when Kearney darted over from a scrum 15 yards out and Gale tagged on the extras.
A late try from Owen and Dixon's second goal came too late to rescue the Tigers.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K RLiveSalford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves