Castleford Tigers Women head coach Lindsay Anfield was left disappointed with her team’s defensive effort following a 28-16 defeat to Bradford Bulls (writes Sebastian Sternik).
This was the Tigresses’ second consecutive defeat following their Challenge Cup final loss to Leeds Rhinos.
Anfield said: “After such a valiant effort against Leeds, attitude to defend was poor. Losing eight first team players will affect any team, so I’m not worried going forward.
“Everyone needs to step up in training now to get some momentum before the play-offs.”
Castleford began the game well as they tested the resolve of Bradford’s defence in the early stages. However, as time went by the initiative began to shift the other way.
It took half-an-hour for the first score, Leah Jones going over for the Bulls, but Cas quickly replied. Ellie Lamb was making her first appearance in over 10 months and did not look out of place as she powered over the whitewash down the left wing.
The hosts scored again just before half-time through Savannah Andrade.
The same player then extended Bradford’s lead with another try soon after the break.
Grace Field gave the Tigers hope with a try in the 53rd minute following a break by Jasmine Rowley. But defensive errors let Amy Hardcastle and Stacey Greenwood score more home tries.
Cas had the last word at least as Tara Stanley beat the entire Bradford defence to touch down on the right wing and added the conversion.
The defeat leaves Castleford in fourth, only four points above Bradford who are still in the hunt for a play-off place. They will need to turn round their fortunes fast, although it will not be an easy task with their remaining four games including trips to Wigan and St Helens, plus home game games with Leeds and Featherstone.
The one major positive for the Tigresses is that their next fixture is scheduled for September 9 so the team has plenty of time to recover from their injury crisis.