Super League: Bradford's problems compounded by loss to Castleford
Last Updated: 16/02/14 10:13pm
Kirk Dixon passed the 1000-point mark for Castleford as the Tigers came from behind to open their Super League campaign with a 36-18 victory over Bradford at Odsal.
Cash-strapped and points-deduction threatened Bradford led three times and held the advantage until 25 minutes from the end but their turbulent week ultimately ended in defeat.
The visitors finished the stronger to run in six tries in all, with Dixon adding six goals from seven attempts.
The Bulls gave debuts to winter acquisitions Lee Gaskell, Adam Henry and midweek loan signing Danny Bridge, while Castleford handed debuts to no fewer than six close-season signings.
Helped on by an early penalty, Bradford struck first with fewer than four minutes on the clock when Luke Gale and Lee Gaskell put Danny Addy through for a try which Jamie Foster converted.
The Bulls could have increased their lead shortly afterwards but did not have the composure to finish off a rousing 50-metre break after Adrian Purtell had intercepted a Liam Finn pass.
Elliot Kear stopped rampaging Tigers hooker Daryl Clark with a superb last-gasp tackle and the hosts managed to weather a couple of successive sets deep in their own territory before Weller Hauraki strolled through to score. Dixon's conversion made it 6-6 at half-time.
After a tight first half the floodgates opened with three tries in seven minutes after the interval, Bradford grabbing the first as Gale stabbed a grubber kick into the corner which stood up nicely for Foster to grab before reaching out to score.
But Castleford immediately regained possession just after the restart and capitalised to score when Dixon crossed in the corner then converted his own score from the touchline to square things up once more.
Shortly afterwards the Bulls were ahead again when Purtell rose to catch and ground a perfectly weighted Gale cross-kick at the other end and Foster added his third goal.
The Tigers did not trail for long as Finn picked up a Dixon kick following a move on the right and then sent Clark racing over for a try. Dixon again converted to bring up the winger's 1000th point since joining the Tigers in 2007.
With the scores tied, Dixon then amazingly missed a straightforward penalty for interference almost in front of the posts just after the hour mark.
Bradford's let-off was short-lived, however, as Justin Carney claimed a high kick from Finn and needed only to fall across the line to score and put the away side in front for the first time just three minutes later.
Kear gave the Bulls one late glimmer of hope when racing the length of the field to touch down, only to be called back by referee Robert Hicks for a forward pass.
Luke Dorn then crossed to effectively seal the win seven minutes from time, while Grant Millington added another try on the final play and Dixon finishing with six goals to take his match tally to 16 points.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford 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
Super League 2014, round one
Kirk Dixon passed the one thousand point mark for Castleford who got their campaign off to a winning start with victory at Bradford.
Tom Briscoe scored a debut hat-trick as Leeds beat Hull KR 34-6 in front of a record crowd at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
Salford won their first game of the new season after handing debuts to all 13 of their starting line up against Wakefield.
- Dixon 'the ultimate pro'
- Noble happy with opening win
- Betts: Tougher tasks ahead
- McDermott praise for Briscoe
- Vikings on the rampage
- Salford start with victory
- Briscoe stars for Rhinos
- Cummins allays turmoil fears
- Radford relieved at narrow win
- Hull cling on for victory
- Vikings v Broncos: Teams
- Red Devils v Wildcats: Teams
- Bulls v Tigers: Teams
- Hull KR v Rhinos: Teams
- Walsh: Good start for Saints
- Saints storm past Wolves
- Hull v Catalan Dragons: Teams
- Wolves v Saints: Teams
- Rovers to set crowd record
- Wellens: new boys boost Saints
- Forward thinking from Wolves