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Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Bradford Bulls 41-22 Castleford Tigers

Bradford (25) 41
Tries: Scruton, Sheriffe, Whitehead, Kearney 2, Halley, Sykes Goals: Orford 6
Drop Goal: Orford

Castleford (12) 22
Tries: Shenton, Owen, Snitch, Hudson Goals: Westerman 3

Bulls v Castleford

Bradford Bulls got it right third time as they powered to a first Super League win of the season at 'rock-hard' Odsal.

Two stunning efforts in the first eight minutes from Nick Scruton and Rikki Sheriffe paved the way to a seven-try victory for Steve McNamara's men.

Castleford, who lost teenage winger Richard Owen with a suspected broken leg, ran in four tries of their own.

But Elliott Whitehead, Brett Kearney (2), Dave Halley and Paul Sykes wrapped up the Bulls' comprehensive victory.

Bradford began under pressure after back-to-back defeats by Huddersfield and St Helens. But McNamara's men made light of the freezing temperatures and hard surface to deliver an emphatic display.

Kearney helped himself to two tries, while fellow newcomer Matt Orford delivered a hugely influential display.

Castleford, missing the influential Brent Sherwin, were lacklustre for most of the game.

They still had enough wit about them to break through four times, tries from centre Michael Shenton, Owen, stand-off Steve Snitch and hooker Ryan Hudson making the final scoreline respectable.

But Aussie scrum-half Orford was the star turn, setting up the Bulls' first two tries, with a smart reverse pass to the surging Scuton before the neat kick which veteran Steve Menzies brilliantly claimed before cleverly sending Sheriffe over.

After seeing Cas close to 24-12 down, Orford also dropped the killer goal just before the break which effectively closed the door.

And a first missed goal in seven attempts proved the only blemish on the former Manly star's night.

Cas suffered their main blow when the highly-rated Owen was carried off on a stretcher after falling awkwardly under a tackle from Glenn Hall.

Bradford Bulls coach Steve McNamara said:

"I thought it was pretty good. It was firm but it certainly was not frozen. And the ground staff did an outstanding job to get the game on.

"It was a great flat surface and we would probably settle for playing on that every couple of weeks.

"We asked for a response. And I thought we were pretty good, although disappointed with four tries conceded, three of them from kicks."

Castleford coach Terry Matterson said:

"It's terrible losing Richard Owen. There's not much else to say. It's just a big blow to us.

"I am not making excuses. It was hard for both sides, but it was a rock-hard pitch.

"I just wonder if there was a safety issue there. When I walked out on the pitch I probably was a bit concerned. Our players must have been concerned because they probably thought it was going to be called off, the way they played."

Bradford: Halley, Sheriffe, Sykes, Nero, Reardon, Kearney, Orford, Scruton, L'Estrange, Lynch, Langley, Whitehead, Menzies.
Replacements: Godwin, Worrincy, Kopczak, Hall.

Castleford: McGoldrick, Owen, Shenton, Evans, Wainwright, Snitch, Chase, Jackson, Hudson, Higgins, Ferres, Jones, Westerman.
Replacements: Sargent, Huby, Netherton, Clayton.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (Toulouse).

Attendance: 8,019.

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see also
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League
Bradford Bulls 6-38 St Helens
14 Feb 10 |  Rugby League
Castleford 16-28 Warrington
13 Feb 10 |  Super League

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