Francis Cummins declared there were “loads of positives” to take from the Bulls’ performance in yesterday’s 24-24 draw at Leeds in Danny McGuire’s testimonial match.
The Bulls took the game to the reigning Super League and World Club champions and were 18-0 and 24-14 in front before a late try from McGuire denied them victory.
But it was the collective spirit and general competitiveness of his side which left former Leeds winger Cummins most satisfied.
“There were loads of positives,” said the Bulls coach. “I thought our middle men did really well because we’ve only got three props (Nick Scruton, Adam Sidlow and Manase Manuokafoa).
“We’re going to have to stick together this season but we’ve done that in the two friendlies and that’s been a real positive.”
Cummins began the match with Jamie Foster at full back and Sammut and Kearney in the halves, before putting Danny Addy alongside Sammut later in the game and switching Kearney back to full back.
The Bulls coach added: “We only had three props available, plus Chev Walker, but I thought they all did really well because Leeds had five and they rotated them pretty quickly.
“That was pleasing to know we went toe-to-toe with some pretty big players.”
Joint captain Heath L’Estrange and Jamie Langley missed out but Cummins said: “It was great to see James Donaldson back out there and he’s over the moon to get that first game under his belt. Heath had just rolled his ankle and might have been able to play at a push.
“We'll see how Jamie is but there were no other injuries.”