Castleford Tigers 14 Bradford Bulls 20 – Late Sam Hallas try sinks youthful Tigers outfit
A late try from Sam Hallas ensured that Bradford Bulls claimed the Boxing Day honours 20-14 against a youthful Castleford Tigers line-up at the Jungle today.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell opted to rest most of his first team, instead naming a mixed squad of academy and reserves players together with some first-team regulars.
The home side opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Danny Richardson ran the ball on the final tackle, powering past two defenders to touch down.
The scores were level at half-time after Bradford’s Joe Brown beat Greg Eden to a clever kick out wide before getting the ball down.
The Tigers made a number of substitutions at half-time but it was new signing Tyla Hepi who showed his class – he offloaded to young hooker Dec Gregory who sent Joe Summers through a gap to touch down. Calum Turner converted.
But the Bulls hit back and half-back Rowan Milnes dummied over from close range to tie the scores after three consecutive sets on the Tigers line.
Tempers then flared as Castleford’s Sam Hall and Bradford front-rower Sam Barlow were sin-binned for an altercation before the Tigers again went in front.
Half-back Tom Schofield led a quick break and fired a pin-point pass for Jacob Doyle to dive over in the corner.
The lead did not last long as Brown responded with a try of his own out wide to level the scores at 14-14.
The momentum was now with the away side as the Bulls put real pressure on the Cas line and with time running out Hallas crashed over from close range to seal the spoils.
Castleford Tigers: Eden, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Graham, Clare, Turner, Richardson, Hepi, O’Neill, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Summers, Smith. Subs: Gregory, Donnelly, Schofield, Hall, Robb, Martin, Peachey, Fella, Doyle, Attley, Storey
Bradford Bulls: Pickersgill, Johnson, Evans, Oakes, Brown, Milnes, Lilley, England, Hallas, Crossley, Rooks, Gallagher, Kirk. Subs: Shackleton, Foggin-Johnston, Doyle, Foster, Scurr, Smith, Barlow.