BULLS captain Lee Smith claims his side are better prepared for this tomorrow’s crunch match against York City Knights following a testing victory against Hunslet at the South Leeds Stadium.

Bradford ran out 36-16 winners following braces from Ashley Gibson and the returning George Flanagan after a six-week injury lay-off.

Smith echoed the plaudits of John Kear in singling out the middle unit’s efforts, laying down the foundation for the Bulls to secure the two points.

“Hunslet are a great physical side and they provided us with a real test at both ends of the field.

"I thought we were really convincing in the second half to come away with the victory,” said Smith.

“The middles were outstanding as they have been all season, they really drove us on.

"Every one of them stood up to the test and really dragged us through the tough minutes.

“There were big efforts all over the pitch. Steve (Crossley) played big minutes and is non-stop work. Sam Hallas was also really impressive and his rotation adds to the team.

“Getting George back from injury was also a real positive. It’s never easy to go back to a former club but you can see the passion he has for Bradford and his quality is clear to see in the two tries.

“It’s always a positive to have a testing game before one of the biggest matches of the season, it helps raise our levels, making sure we don’t go into the game complacent.”

Bradford’s next game comes in the form of a top-of-the-table clash against York City Knights, which could see John Kear’s men move four points ahead of York in second place.

York come into the game unbeaten in six and boosted by the news of highly sought-after coach James Ford signing a new three-year deal.

As two of the form teams in the competition clash, Smith insists his side will need to be at the top of their game to emulate their earlier season victory.

“We were probably fortunate to get the win at the start of the season, a draw wouldn’t have been an unfair result. To hang in was a big credit to us and this game will be no different,” said Smith.

“Since then we’ve both lost up in Cumbria, we both have quality players and it promises to be a great game. These top of the table clashes are some of the best games you will play in.

“I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t feel added nerves. It’s a crucial game, there will be a big crowd and that should spur us on. These big games tend to raise your levels.”