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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Tigers mauled by Bradford
Robbie Paul feeds Michael Withers
The Bulls were easy winners over the Tigers
Bradford 40-18 Castleford

The Bulls took advantage of a depleted Castleford Tigers side to record a seven-try victory at Valley Parade that kept them top of the Super League table.

It was the Bulls' 27th successive home win in Super League since July 2000, when they lost to Leeds at Odsal, their former ground.


We let in a couple of soft tries but generally we are moving in the right direction
Darrel Shelford,
Bradford assistant coach

Despite the scoreline the Bulls struggled to find their touch for long spells in the first half.

They could only manage two tries by full back Michael Withers and hooker James Lowes, one of which followed a disputed forward pass.

Bradford scrum-half Paul Deacon kicked six goals from seven attempts and became the first player to reach the century mark in Super League matches this season.

Castleford were missing half a dozen regulars, including the suspended forward trio of Dean Sampson, Michael Smith and Nathan Sykes.

However, they lived up to their nickname defensively for long spells in the first period as they battled hard to keep alive their outside chance of a play-off place.

But the Bulls took control after the restart, grabbing three tries in a five-minute spell to stretch their lead to a commanding 30-0.

Leading try scorer Tevita Vaikona provoked the try burst with a powerful effort.

Then centre Lee Gilmour raced in from virtually his own half after a break by second rower Daniel Gartner.

Tonga winger Lesley Vainikolo then went over after good work by Deacon, who converted all three tries.

Castleford battled on with sterling work from Ryan Hudson, Andy Lynch and Lee Harland.

After 59 minutes, Bradford's Brian McDermott was placed on report by referee Richard Silverwood after a tackle on Castleford's Adrian Rainey.


That was the sort of tough game we needed before facing Leeds next week
Darrel Shelford

From the resulting penalty, winger Waine Pryce went over in the corner to open their account.

The Bulls hit back immediately with further tries from centre Scott Naylor and McDermott.

But again Castleford refused to lie down and got late tries from Rainey and substitute Wayne Godwin, which were both converted by hooker Wayne Bartrim.

Despite their dominance, Bradford assistant coach Darrel Shelford said his side are not getting carried away yet.

"We still have got plenty of work to do, but that was the sort of tough game we needed before facing Leeds next week," he said.

"Cas are a gritty side and they stuck at it. We let in a couple of soft tries but generally we are moving in the right direction at this stage of the season."


Bradford: Withers, Vaikona, Naylor, Gilmour, Vainikolo, Paul, Deacon, Vagana, Lowes, Fielden, Gartner, Peacock, Forshaw. Replacements: Pryce, McAvoy, Radford, McDermott.

Castleford: Rogers, Saxton, Warren, Wells, Pryce, Orr, Healey, Rainey, Bartrim, Lynch, Harland, Fritz, Hudson. Replacements: Thaler, Blakeway, Godwin, Bates.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).


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