Bulls received a boost on Thursday night in the race for Super League in 2025.

Bradford’s indicative IMG grading of 12.02 leaves them 14th in the ranking of the 35 clubs in the top three tiers of British rugby league.

The top 12 in those rankings at the end of the 2024 season will be Super League clubs the following year, and with Bulls just half a point behind 11th placed Wakefield (12.52), they have a real chance of climbing places if they can improve on their current weakness.

As it stands, Leigh (12.45) and Castleford (12.16) sit 12th and 13th respectively, but the latter were confident that score would soon change.

Cas insisted an administration error had cost them half a point on finances, so they believed their rightful grading was nearly a whole point higher, putting them above Leigh and Wakefield and into 11th.

But on Thursday evening, the Tigers confirmed that the RFL had rejected their appeal.

In a statement, rugby league’s governing body said: “Castleford Tigers have been informed that their indicative grading score for 2024 will not be reconsidered.

“The club requested an exemption to resubmit their Data Capture Form, having discovered after their initial submission that it had not contained the correct data.

“While sympathetic to their position and recognising that the resubmission would lead to an increase in the club’s indicative grading score, the RFL Board have ruled that it would be unfair to other clubs – several of whom have also sought unsuccessfully to have data submitted after the deadline considered – to make changes after the indicative gradings have been published.”

Castleford have accepted the ruling, as they believe their ranking will improve anyway, given the RFL have told them that if the aforementioned mistake is rectified, and the board are satisfied it is a mistake, their score will go up significantly when it comes to the final grades next year.

In a statement responding to the RFL’s decision, Cas said: “As a club we are disappointed that the RFL will not change the gradings, however we are pleased to hear that they have agreed that our score would increase to 12.91.

“This gives us a great base to work from to push our score as high as we can in readiness for the 2025 gradings.

“This was one of the reasons the indicative grading process has been run in 2023 – as a dry run, with no bearing on teams’ positions for the 2024 season, but to give all clubs a clear idea of where they stand, and where they need to improve.”