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Super League: Castleford Tigers' Kirk Dixon hailed as 'the ultimate pro'
Kirk's the ultimate professional and works harder than anyone - he's last out and he'll even come in on his days off and kick goals.
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Head coach Daryl Powell paid tribute to Kirk Dixon after the goal-kicking winger passed the 1,000-point mark to help Castleford Tigers come from behind and begin their Super League campaign with a 36-18 victory over crisis-club Bradford Bulls.
Dixon scored a try and landed six goals in a game which saw the beleaguered Bulls lead three times before they finally succumbed to four Tigers tries in the closing 25 minutes.
The cash-strapped Bulls are facing a points deduction later this week after recently dipping into administration for the second time, and lost two key players - Jarrod Sammut and Garreth Carvell - ahead of the game.
Powell admitted his side might have fallen into temporary complacency following their 66-10 destruction of the Bulls in a pre-season friendly on the same ground two weeks ago, and paid tribute to Bradford's efforts.
"Obviously everybody expected us to win, and perhaps we did ourselves at the start," he said.
"They came at us really committed and I don't think we handled that too well.
"I think it took us 20 minutes to really put our foot on the ball, and as a result of that we just couldn't seem to get into the game.
"It was a disappointing start, but we gradually fought our way back into it.
"I thought all our big men did well and gave us some direction."
Powell stressed what Dixon had brought to Castleford since joining the club in 2007
"Kirk's the ultimate professional and works harder than anyone - he's last out and he'll even come in on his days off and kick goals," he said.
"When you have someone who does that, they are great standard-bearers for the kind of culture we are trying to develop.
"He's not the quickest or the strongest, but he's unbelievably consistent and he's very good at a lot of things - the way he goes about his business is very professional."
Opposing coach Francis Cummins acknowledged that the Bulls eventually ran out of steam after a gutsy opening hour.
"We gave a few yardage errors," he said. "I thought there was a time when we were ready to go, but came up with those errors and they scored and that knocked us down a bit.
"We got fatigued because we gave the ball over too often on the first and second plays.
"But I'm proud because I felt that we were fully committed - you can't fault the effort and that's what you want.
"Cas can play good football, but we have to keep our concentration more. We gave it back to them too cheaply in the second half."Super League. Click here to bet.
First Utility Super League Table
|8||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|11||Hull K R||2||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Friday 27th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Castleford Tigers|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:00||Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves|
|19:30||Salford Red Devils vs Hull FC|
|Sunday 1st March|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Wigan Warriors|
|15:00||Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Wildcats|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
|Wigan 24 - 16 Huddersfield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|Salford 6 - 52 St Helens|
|Sunday 8th February|
|Castleford 22 - 24 Wakefield|
|Huddersfield 0 - 19 Hull|
|Hull K R 30 - 40 Leeds|
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