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Bulls stand firm for victory
Bradford withstand heavy pressure to see off Castleford
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.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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