Paul solo show sinks Castleford

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The Independent Online

The relentless march of the Bradford Bulls goes on, with a runaway victory over a team with a track record of making life difficult for them.

There were times when they threatened to be a stumbling block at Odsal last night, but after Henry Paul took control and Cas had their prop, Dean Sampson, sent off for a forearm to his jaw, the visitors finished in disarray. Bradford were uncharacteristically error-prone in the opening minutes and were punished when Brad Davis' sweetly timed pass put Lee Harland through a gap for the game's first try.

Jamie Benn added the goal, but Cas failed to press home their advantage as Bradford's huge forwards began to build momentum. Paul Anderson took the ball almost to the try line and Henry Paul chimed in to take James Lowes' pass and slide through for the converted try that tied it up. It was his 100th try in the British game and Paul also landed the penalty that put the Bulls ahead, after Davis was penalised for holding.

Bradford then had to survive for 10 minutes with 10 men after Stuart Fielden was sin-binned for a late challenge on Benn. Having done that, they edged further ahead, Henry Paul expanding his one-man repertoire with a long-range drop goal that went in off the post.

Paul was also largely responsible for the try soon after half-time that confirmed that Bradford were on there way to their fourth straight victory of the new season. A lovely arching run beat the defensive line and the pass to Michael Withers was equally good.

Castleford could have made a rapid response, but were denied a try after a forward pass. It was a marginal decision and the Tigers could feel doubly aggrieved when Bradford went straight to the other end and Nathan McAvoy scored.

Henry Paul's next involvement was his one blemish, a cross-field kick that was picked off by Jon Wells for a spectacular 80-yard try. Any chance of a fightback was cut off, however, by the dazzling attack sparked by Withers and Robbie Paul to send Lowes in.

Spruce forced his way over for another and after a bout of wrestling between Stuart Fielden and Adrian Vowles, Fielden dusted himself off to claim the sixth Bradford try. Lowes added a drop goal and his second try as Castleford were eventually grateful for the final hooter.

Bradford: Spruce; McAvoy, Naylor, Withers, Brooker; H Paul, R Paul; McDermott, Lowes, Anderson, Peacock, Forshaw, MacKay. Subtitutes used: Vaikona, Boyle, Radford, Fielden.

Castleford: Benn; Wells, Campbell, Eager, Rogers; Orr, Davis; Sampson, Purcell, Shaw, Harland, Fritz, Vowles. Subtitutes used: Sykes, Tonks, Smith, Arnold.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).