Bradford Bulls: Prolific Kearney admits he's in form of his life (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Bulls: Prolific Brett Kearney admits he's in form of his life
Brett Kearney has scored eight tries this season, having touched down in all six games so far, including a hat-trick in the home victory against Castleford.
That is admirable enough but the Bulls full back’s assessment of his form is almost as impressive.
“I get the accolades but it’s usually someone else who has done all the work for me,” said Kearney.
“Some of the roles I play are different at times – from half back to full back – but the majority of the time I’m on the ball, so when someone does create something I’ve got to be there to finish it off.
“It’s a full back’s job and good full backs do that.
“I’ve said it a few times now but the fact is that if the full back is scoring tries then the team is playing well.
“I’ve got to score tries because it’s a gauge of how well we’re going.
“I’m on a good run at the moment – probably the best run of my career – but there will come a time in the season when I won’t get many tries. Hopefully during those times I will be setting them up.”
Kearney’s eight tries in the opening weeks of the campaign have put him firmly on course to surpass last season’s tally of 15.
He is currently Super League’s top scorer and it comes as no surprise to hear that much of his inspiration comes from a player universally regarded as the world’s best full back – Melbourne star Billy Slater.
“You’ve only got to watch Slater play to admire what he does,” said Kearney, who refuses to set any try-scoring targets for the season.
“When I started playing full back, Wade McKinnon was probably the best supporting full back I had seen.
“But the big difference is that Slater has energy like no other player.
“He will be taking the ball up the middle on one play and then throwing a cut-out pass on the flank for someone else to score the next.
“That’s the best thing about him and the part of his game which has made me always love to watch him.
“Whenever there is a half-break, and someone goes through, Billy Slater is there.
“You saw that in the recent World Club Challenge against Leeds at Headingley.”
As the Bulls bid to bounce back from last week’s fraught draw at Widnes, Kearney is wary of the threat posed by Craig Sandercock’s Hull KR, who destroyed London last weekend.
The former Cronulla man, 29, added: “Michael Dobson has been a huge player for them and I think that’s why they brought in Travis Burns, to take a bit of pressure off him.
“The majority of the time the big plays still come through Dobbo – he steps up and he does it well.
“Burns is still relatively unknown over here in terms of what he’s capable of.
“But you could see his quality against London with the little pass he gave to Greg Eden, another player who I think has really taken off over there.
“They’ve got a good team so it certainly won’t be a case of ‘stop Dobson and it’s job done’.
“His game certainly suits playing for Hull KR but there are plenty of players for us to work on.”