A HAT-TRICK of tries by Bradford winger Omari Caro ruined Featherstone’s hopes of a winning start to their Kingstone Press Championship campaign.
Danny Craven and Anthony Thackeray both scored first-half tries on their competitive debuts for new-look Featherstone who were only 16-12 behind at half-time in their bid to repeat last season’s win at Odsal.
Last year’s league runners-up Bradford struck an important blow in the 54th minute when Caro completed his treble and Danny Addy added his third goal to put them 10 points ahead and the remainder of the game was scoreless. Rovers, whose line-up included Leeds Rhinos dual-registered players Ash Handley, Jordan Baldwinson and Mitch Achurch, gave an encouraging display. Full-back Craven, signed on a season-long loan from Widnes Vikings, grabbed a sixth minute try and Kyle Briggs added a touchline conversion.
The Bulls hit back to lead 10-6 after 19 minutes and increased their lead in the 31st minute through Caro. Rovers cut the gap to four points when Thackeray darted over three minutes before half-time and Briggs goaled. But the game began to slip away from them in the second period when Caro scored again.
Bradford: Mathers; Clare, Purtell, Welham, Caro; Gaskell, Addy; Kavanagh, O’Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Haggerty, Pitts., Subs: Blythe, Walker, Ferguson, Lauaki.
Featherstone: Craven; Handley, Channing, Taulapapa, Turner; Briggs, Thackeray; Griffin, Davies, Bostock, Cording, Spears, Ormondroyd. Subs: Hardman, Achurch, Baldwinson, Tagg.
Referee: George Stokes (St Helens).