Sunday 16th February 2014
Story in brief:
Castleford Tigers started their 2014 First Utility Super League season in the best possible way with an 18-36 win at Bradford Bulls on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers came away from the Provident Stadium with two points courtesy of tries from Weller Hauraki, Daryl Clark, Justin Carney, Luke Dorn, Grant Millington and Kirk Dixon who successfully converted all six.
In what was the perfect week for Dixon with a new contract signed and the first win of the season, he also racked up enough points in the game to reach the landmark total of 1,000 points for the club.
Daryl Powell's men looked rusty as they started slowly and it was the hosts who took the lead within the first five minutes when Danny Addy capitalised on a smart pass from Lee Gaskell to score, which Foster converted.
As Cas began to find their feet they threatened after quarter of an hour when Daryl Clark broke into the Bradford half only for Elliot Kear to eventually stop him 20 metres from the try line. The Tigers continued to put pressure on the Bulls defence but both Liam Finn and Andy Lynch were thwarted in their attempts to cross the whitewash.
However Cas were rewarded five minutes before the break when Weller Hauraki showed clever skills and footwork to score and level matters at half-time.
In a frantic start to the second half both sides chalked up scores within the first seven minutes as both Foster and Adrian Purtell collected high kicks from Luke Gale. Meanwhile Dixon's try was sandwiched between the two when he capitalised on a Bulls error straight from the kick off following Fosters' effort.
The outstanding Daryl Clark put the Tigers level by finishing off a marvellous team move that involved Finn, Hauraki, Michael Channing and Dixon in the build up down the right hand side. Dixon then scored his 1,000th point for Cas with his successful conversion.
Dixon could have edged Cas in front moments later but missed a simple penalty attempt 20 metres out. It mattered little though as Justin Carney then superbly collected Finn's high kick before touching down for his first of the season.
Elliot Kear looked to have given the Bulls a lifeline when he sprinted the full length of the pitch to score, only to turn around and notice referee Robert Hicks had pulled up play for a knock on meaning no try was given.
Luke Dorn scored from the resulting scrum following good work from Huby which left the full-back with the relatively easy task of touching down between the sticks.
Grant Millington then rounded off the scoring when he collected a flat pass from the impressive Marc Sneyd who had jinked his way around the Bulls defence.
It means the Tigers go in to their first home game of the season versus Catalan Dragons next week searching for two wins from two as they look to spring a few surprises on the rest of Super League in 2014.
The DVD of the match, featuring the legendary commentary of Mick Morgan, will be on sale from the club shop in Carlton Lanes from 9am on Monday morning.
Bradford Bulls: Brett Kearney, Elliot Kear, Adam Henry, Adrian Purtell, Jamie Foster, Lee Gaskell, Luke Gale, Nick Scruton, Matt Diskin, Adam Sidlow, Tom Olbison, Danny Addy, James Donaldson. SUBS: Chev Walker, Manase Manuokafoa, Adam O'Brien, Danny Bridge.
Castleford Tigers: Luke Dorn, Kirk Dixon, Michael Channing, Michael Shenton, Justin Carney, Marc Sneyd, Liam Finn, Andy Lynch, Daryl Clark, Craig Huby, Oliver Holmes, Weller Hauraki, Grant Millington. SUBS: Adam Milner, Frankie Mariano, Scott Wheeldon, Dan Fleming.
Referee: Robert Hicks