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Kear Ell-bent on scoring for Bradford Bulls against Castleford
Elliot Kear is desperate to cross the line against Castleford this weekend – after being denied by a stunning try-saving tackle at Hull FC.
The Bulls winger looked destined to score his first try of the season after breaking clear in the latter stages of last weekend’s 28-12 defeat at the KC Stadium.
But England winger Tom Briscoe produced a breathtaking piece of defending to chase back and hold Kear up as he attempted to ground the ball under the posts.
Nevertheless, Kear remains happy with his first two performances of the season as the Bulls bid to return to winning ways at home to Ian Millward’s men tomorrow.
The Wales international said: “It was a brilliant tackle by Briscoe but I should have scored it.
“I’m still looking for a chance to get over the line and hopefully it will come this weekend.
“I’ve had a good pre-season and we’ve got a really tight-knit group here.
“We had a good win against Wakefield, were a bit unlucky at Hull but I think we’re ready to kick on again this weekend and put in a good performance.”
Kear endured a couple of spells on the sidelines due to wrist injuries in his debut campaign at the Provident Stadium last year.
But his work-rate, versatility and ability to sniff out a try have taken on added importance with fellow wideman Michael Platt doubtful for this weekend due to a knee injury.
Bulls coach Francis Cummins yesterday named Platt in his 19-man squad and he will undergo a late fitness test.
Kear enjoyed the odd game at full back last season and added: “As long as I’m playing week in and week out I won’t moan about which position I play.
“I do like playing full back but I like it on the wing as well.
“I played both of the autumn internationals for Wales on the wing.
“I think Iestyn (Harris) prefers me there but I’m fine with that – left or right wing.
“Karl Pryce and Shaun Ainscough left at the end of last season but Platty has had a strong start to the season and Purts (Adrian Purtell) will be back soon to push for a centre/wing berth.
“You’ve got to be on your toes to keep your position – I just want to stay injury-free now, string a few games together and get a few tries. A win against Cas would make it a great start to the season.”
Meanwhile, Castleford will give half-back Gareth O’Brien his debut against the Bulls after completing his loan signing from Warrington.
The 21-year-old has joined the Tigers for a month as a stop-gap replacement for Rangi Chase, who starts a two-match ban imposed for a reckless tackle on Leeds full back Zak Hardaker in last Sunday’s 14-12 win over the champions.
O’Brien has been unable to force his way into the Wolves team so far this season and played on a dual-registration for Championship club Swinton last weekend. He had a month’s loan with Widnes last season.
Castleford coach Ian Millward said: “I have been an admirer of Gareth’s for some time and Tony Smith speaks highly of him as both a person and a player.
“Warrington currently have no injuries in their half-backs so they were happy to loan him out and give him some good playing experience.”
Millward has included goalkicking three-quarter Kirk Dixon in his 19-man squad after recovering quicker than expected from a calf tear.