BULLS are fully tuned up for their season-defining fortnight, according to John Kear.

The League One leaders are preparing for a double header that will go a long way to deciding who will finish in the automatic promotion spot.

Kear’s men tackle fifth-placed Hunslet at South Leeds Stadium on Sunday – and then face the hugely-anticipated home showdown with closest challengers York.

Bulls made it 11 straight wins with Friday’s 24-4 victory over Newcastle at Odsal.

It was a tougher encounter than many they have faced recently – and just what Kear wanted ahead of the two testing clashes to come.

He said: “You can’t see pretty, pretty all the time. Sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up.

“I told the players that I was delighted we had to win one like that.

“It will stand us in good stead for Hunslet at their place, which will be a really tough game, and obviously York as well.

“You can get carried away when you win by 40s and 50s and 60s week in, week out. You get a bit sloppy and loose with your habits.

“You might well have seen one or two instances of that on Friday. But we had to work hard and grind out a win and that makes it pleasing.”

Kear, who was unhappy with the slow speed of the rucks, praised his side’s defensive diligence in restricting Newcastle to only one score from a kick.

But he was once again concerned by the unforced error count – a trait they must tighten up in the next couple of weeks.

Kear added: “We controlled the first half really well and our completion rate was pretty good. But in the second, we came up with some poor errors in collision.

“You’re just asking for trouble if you don’t clear your own end in an efficient way and we didn’t.

“It’s an 80-minute game and you’d hope fatigue would have set in (with Newcastle).

“But when you’ve got a tap-20 and you spill bringing the ball away on the zero tackle, you’re not going to take much energy out of the opposition.

“That’s why it was such a tough old game.

“We kept gifting them the ball in early tackles when we were trying to clear our own end.

“But fair dos to the players, they stood really solid and their resolve was great. It was a big effort to manage to keep them out.”

Ethan Ryan suffered cuts on his eye and under his chin after a face clash with Newcastle’s Mo Agoro.

The league’s leading try scorer had to go off for treatment and returned to play with a bandaged head. But he still got on the scoresheet late on from Dane Chisholm’s kick to the corner – his 19th touchdown in League One.

“He’s a very good player,” said Kear. “You expect your wing men to take opportunities like that.”

York remain hot on Bulls’ tail after beating Doncaster 31-16 at home yesterday but Hunslet dropped from third to fifth after losing at Workington.

Meanwhile, Bulls Women lost 42-12 at St Helens, with Shona Hoyle scoring both Bradford’s tries.