Bradford Bulls 10, Castleford Tigers 66
The Bulls slipped to a thumping defeat in their final pre-season friendly after Castleford ran in 12 tries to give head coach Francis Cummins much to think about.
Cummins was missing a clutch of key players in Lee Gaskell, Jarrod Sammut, Garreth Carvell and Luke George while Brett Kearney and Matty Blythe remain longer-term absentees.
But it was the manner in which Bradford’s defence was so easily and so frequently breached that will have given Cummins cause for concern as the visitors ran in 56 unanswered points.
Daryl Powell’s Tigers, who included several new signings, included former Bradford skipper Andy Lynch, were superior in every department.
They scored five first-half tries, including four on the Bulls’ left edge, and touched down seven more times after the break.
Luke Dorn opened the scoring before the Bulls hit back with a well-taken try from Elliot Kear.
Kirk Dixon put Castleford back in front but Nick Scruton took Luke Gale’s neat pass to level the scores at 10-10.
Yet the visitors ran in three more tries through Daryl Clark (2) and Richard Owen to make it 26-10 at the break.
Powell’s men kept their foot on the gas after the break with tries from Michael Shenton, Weller Hauraki (2), Adam Milner and Dixon twice more to complete his hat-trick before Frankie Mariano rounded off the scoring.
Dixon’s three tries and nine conversions gave him a personal haul of 30 points on a nightmare afternoon for Cummins and his players, who meet Castleford again in their Super League opener in a fortnight's time.