THE Bulls may have won three of their last four Championship matches but head coach Geoff Toovey knows he needs to hand out some tough love as they prepare for 2018.

The Australian admitted: "Consistency all year has been our problem, which is a mental state.

"We started the season fairly well and then had some disruption with players being injured and loan players going back.

"And if it is not week-to-week consistency, it has been half to half or ten minutes here, ten minutes there – and that is the modern game. You need to concentrate for 80 minutes.

"That 'mental discipline' message has been up there on the whiteboard at Tong for five months, so we just have to be tough on ourselves."

Yet Toovey is not about to criticise officials in a bid to excuse his team's shortcomings.

He said: "I would never purposely have a go at referees. Consistency is the main thing, whether they are right or wrong.

"It has been frustrating at times this year but they are doing their best – but when you are losing, you just have to concentrate on your own issues.

"We are our own worst enemies, we just have to correct our own stuff."

Meanwhile, Toovey believes the British game needs strong roots if it is to develop,

Conscious of the fact that he has only been over here for a little over seven months, the Aussie said: "I haven't really been here long enough and it is the same everywhere – but if you want to be strong at the top, you really have to cement your base area.

"Junior development, shoring up the game at grass roots, is very important for me.

"It is not instantaneous gratification until you see that fruition but if you don't start now, it is going to be another four or five years until you see that reward.

"I would like to see as much as can be done for the junior game.

"The greater good we can do for that lower-level junior system, the better off the senior game will be in five or six years' time and you will have a strong base.

"It is a journey and let's get on board."