JOHN Kear insists his League One-leading Bulls are ready to rumble with the Thunder at Odsal tonight.

Newcastle are the latest challenger to the proud unbeaten home record when they head for West Yorkshire.

Kear knows to expect a tricky evening against a side who are more dangerous than their mid-table position may suggest.

The Bulls coach watched Newcastle run York City Knights close last week and anticipates another test of his own team’s title ambitions.

He said: “It’s more than a banana skin. I went to watch them at York and the (24-6) scoreline did not reflect the game.

“Newcastle had York under the pump for long periods of time. I thought York’s defence was magnificent and they scored some opportunist tries.

“It’s going to be a heck of a challenge and we’re fully aware of that.”

The Bulls had their hands full when the sides met at Kingston Park in May, battling back from the early shock of falling 12-0 behind to claim a 26-16 victory.

“It was tough up there and the players will be aware of that,” added Kear.

“Newcastle are a good team and have got one of the most exciting players in the competition in my mind in Lewis Young.

“They’ve got a very tough, physical forward pack and real pace in (Theerapol) Ritson and Young. They’ve got some decent three-quarters who can take chances as well.

“Yes, they will fancy coming to Odsal. But it is our home and we’ve an element of pride in that.

“Keep ticking the games off one at a time and being successful, then the ultimate goal will be achieved.

“It’s one step towards finishing our marathon and that’s very much how I’m viewing it.”

Kear dished out an ear-bashing during last week’s win at Coventry to shake the complacency out of his team.

It was an out-of-character blast in a campaign when he has generally praised the players for “respecting” the third-tier competition.

The 46-point salvo in the second half demonstrated that the message had been received – and he made a point this week of congratulating the team’s response.

Kear said: “I applauded the players at the team review. There was a massive reaction to our failings once they were pointed out at half-time.

“It wasn’t just me pointing them out but Steve Crossley, who was acting as 18th man, Dane Chisholm and Elliot Minchella.

"It wasn’t just JK but an ownership from the players themselves and the response was first class.

“I think that there was the first spray they’ve had off me but well done to them for responding. Obviously, it achieved the desired effect with the result.”

The game will be preceded by an under-19s clash between the two clubs, which kicks off at 5.30pm.