FRANCIS Cummins last night spoke of his determination to defy the odds and keep the Bulls in Super League after the club’s points appeal ended in failure.

An independent sporting sanctions panel upheld the RFL’s six-point penalty against the Bulls, leaving Cummins’ side six points adrift of third-bottom Wakefield with twelve rounds remaining.

After it was revealed that the Bulls did not meet the criteria to even have their appeal considered, the club released a statement suggesting they may take the matter further, which could involve a High Court challenge against their initial punishment by the RFL.

Owner Marc Green has already paid £5,000 for the appeal in addition to legal costs and said last night's news was a "kick in the teeth".

A club spokesman said: “Prior to the appeal hearing, we had already taken initial legal advice on our options should the appeal fail.

“We will now pursue those options with a view to making a decision on how to take matters further forward in the belief that the decision made was wrong.”

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer called on the Bulls to “move on” but Cummins believes his side are good enough to stay up regardless.

The head coach, whose side travel to Salford on Sunday, said: “I had purposely not built my hopes up because the reality is we are where we are.

“That’s not changed but I’ve got a bunch of lads who are desperate to make those points back up.

“Our conversations all along have been that we can’t rely on anyone else but ourselves.

“That’s what we have focused on. We all share the disappointment of today’s news and it’s up to Marc to do what he’s got to do now.

“We’ve got to concentrate on what we’re paid to do and that means getting some momentum going again.

“It’s not a huge gap. If you’ve got three games left then it is but not when you’ve got twelve matches left to play.

“We’ve been through a lot but what a great achievement it would be to get the job done – and we’re determined to do it.

“Marc spoke to the boys and echoed what I’ve been saying all along – we’re going to need everyone in this together and if we are then we believe we can do it.”

The RFL says the independent sporting sanctions appeal panel will hand down a full written judgement within the next 14 days.