JOHN Kear has praised the defensive meanness of the Bulls.

Sunday’s 52-6 win over Coventry was the fourth time this season they have restricted the opposition to single figures.

York scored three tries on the opening day as the Bulls edged a 22-20 thriller at Bootham Crescent.

But they have conceded only eight in the five League One games since then.

Kear said: “We’ve played six league games and conceded 11 tries in total.

“If we keep that average of two tries a game for the full season, I believe we’ll top the league. That’s what we’ve got to aim to do.”

Coventry’s solo effort at Odsal came from a fortunate bounce after full back Brandon Pickersgill was bamboozled by a high kick and lost his footing.

Kear added: “That’s what can happen if a rugby league ball bounces on a reasonably firm area, it just fooled everybody.

“But credit to Coventry, they were there in numbers, supported well and ended up crossing for a good try.

“You’ve bought field position and you get a bit of a fluky try. That’s the case and we’ve got to look forward.

“Generally, I thought we defended very well. It’s easy to get sloppy when the game is won but I felt the team tightened things up the more the game went on.”

Toronto second rower James Laithwaite was an influential figure in that defensive wall. Kear was delighted with his contribution and two-try Jy Hitchcox in their first outings on loan with the Bulls.

The duo, who are not available for the Challenge Cup this weekend, had only trained twice with their new team-mates before the game.

Kear said: “I was very happy with them both.

“I was pleased to see Jy score such a good try from good set-up play from Dane Chisholm. Then he obviously picked up a more opportunistic one from a kick.

“I thought James Laithwaite was magnificent in defence as well. You can see he will really shore up any side he is on when he is playing in the second row.”