ROWAN Milnes could miss most of the Bulls season through injury as they try to pick themselves up from Challenge Cup heartbreak.

The teenage half-back was diagnosed with a broken leg (fibula) after being stretchered off in the first half of the 20-16 quarter-final loss to Halifax at Odsal.

The Bulls are now waiting to hear the extent of Milnes’ injury – which John Kear admitted was the biggest blow of their defeat.

The Bulls coach said: “That’s the saddest thing to come out of it. When you are a 19-year-old kid making your way in the game, that’s the last thing you want.

“If it just goes into a cast it will be six to eight weeks. If it’s got to be plated, we’re looking at a 12-week job.”

Halifax edged a classic encounter after coming from behind three times. The Bulls had led 6-0 at half-time.

“We’re intensely disappointed because we thought we had a great opportunity,” added Kear. “It could have gone either way.

“We experienced the elation against Featherstone, when it looked like we were out 10 minutes from time and then fought back for a golden-point victory. Then we had that great win against Leeds.

“We’ve had mixed emotions this time but unfortunately for us Halifax have come through the other side.

“Losing Rowan affected us. He’s got a great kicking game and we lost a bit of edge with that.

“Scott Murrell put players through once again and it’s such fine margins.

“But we can look back on our little journey in the Challenge Cup with a great deal of pride.

“It was a really good game and anybody who has watched that will know it was the best of the four (quarter-finals).

“There are things we can feel proud about but now we have to attempt to overcome our disappointment pretty soon and dust ourselves down to go again.”

Halifax coach Simon Grix, whose side now face favourites St Helens in their first semi-final appearance since 1988, said: “These lads will be back up on roofs, fitting boilers and laying bricks tomorrow, it’s back to reality.

“Rugby league has slid down the pecking order in our area, but after this, hopefully some kids pick up a ball and are talking about Halifax now rather than other teams."