THE thing about rugby league players – and it's true for most team sports – is that you’re only as good as your last game.

And in our sport a week is a long-time. Teams can fall in and out of play-off contention, players can play their way in or out of a side, and coaches can be retained or sacked because of a weak or poor performance.

It all adds to the drama that makes sport what it is. Add the power of social media to the mix and it all takes on a machination of twists and turns.

Take the various cryptic tweets involving clubs, generating club denials and responses, and you see the power of fake news.

Or the digital media recordings of unacceptable fan taunts, and what you get is a touch of hysteria and a £10k fine and fan segregation as punishment for one of our local rivals.

I know our sport has so much to offer, good and bad, but the reality is that it all falls into that big bucket entitled 'entertainment and engagement.'

As a sport if we fail to do either, we would quickly become confined to the annals of history. So roll with it is what I say. Buy the pass and enjoy the ride!

And what a ride it has been thus far. Looking at ex-Super League team Widnes Vikings, I can’t think many would have put that down as a 62 to dot demolition of what on paper was a quality opposition team with a very handy playing roster. But form can be deceiving and certainly that is also true for the Bulls.

Playing form is influenced by many factors – quality and experience of players, coaching smarts, confidence, injuries, player relationships and so on.

The one thing that is absolutely certain is that having a winning culture and ethos within a club is essential.

So is building momentum and peaking at the right part of the season. Ask any elite athlete about training and playing cycles, and positioning to peak when it matters.

Plenty was said about our injury run early season, especially in the halves and in the front row.

Early season, we started with six players capable of playing to various degrees at either stand-off or half back. Dane Chisholm, Jordan Lilley, Joe Keyes, Rowan Milnes, Elliot Minchella, Matty Wildie and Brandon Pickersgill.

When you think about it, 42 different possible combinations right? Interestingly it seems to have taken until games 29 and 30 (Halifax and Widnes) to establish without any doubt that pivotally Keyes and Lilley together are an exceptional playing combination.

Also for the first time this year, we get to play our first choice hooker in Wildie at the same time as our best halves combination, with the ever durable Minchella our attacking back rower freed up to run riot at the Toulouse opposition.

At the line, this selection of players genuinely gives JK the attacking skill set at his disposal to unleash in our remaining eight regular league games.

That brings with it added pressure – we all understand that, as do the players. But remember fellas you’re only as good as your last game.

Toulouse will represent probably the toughest regular round challenge to date. Overseas travel, short turnaround and a game scheduled to be played at 33 degrees celsius tonight.

Toss in the pressure for Toulouse sitting in second spot, with recent losses to Toronto and Swinton, and it seems that this will be another blockbuster for all concerned.

Our club has made great progress this season but the next eight games will see the Bulls throwing everything available to challenge for a play-off position.

Consistency and focus will be our themes. Hot and cold performances don’t earn play-off rights, consistency does.

With 30 games played so far including the pre-season programme, our squad knows what we expect as a club and what JK expects as their coach.

As I said last week, games in Championship will be played with more and more desperation as clubs fight it out to win games and maximise point differentials. Defending to the bitter end and banking every available point.

We need to continue the ruthless approach on show against Widnes last Sunday. Fingers and toes crossed for tonight’s clash in a very balmy Toulouse.

Speaking of desperation, it seems the Super League focus is again on the race for last place to join the Championship in 2020. A quick glance at the table shows a frighteningly close race emerging for that last spot.

For the super consistent St Helens, they have opened the throttle up and hit the after-burners towards what will be another fantastically successful year for their club. Voooom!

But for Salford, Wakefield, Leeds, Huddersfield, Hull KR and London, only four points separates these teams with nine nervous rounds remaining.

The race is going to be desperately close and I can only imagine the knowledge of certain relegation for players, fans and club owners will be a hammer they all desperately hopes falls on someone else’s toes.

Still, the Super League clubs voted for this system despite this club's protests. Oh well. Be careful what you wish for as my mum used to tell me.

Certainly, the Super League clubs with the financial backing and resources to strengthen their playing roster and avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, would put Leeds, Huddersfield and London out of harm's way.

The financial and business muscle of owners Paul Caddick, Ken Davy and David Hughes respectively put them in an especially strong category.

Salford, Wakefield and Hull KR, on the other hand, aren’t in the same financial class.

But as we all know, it takes more than money, it takes football brains, and a committed playing group buoyed along by equally desperate fans to help avoid the booby prize attached to the Super League 12th-place cheque.

Clearly the coaching teams of Salford, Wakefield and Hull KR are all very capable of getting every drop out of their playing groups.

Ian Watson has demonstrated this for the past few years for Salford, and recognition of this with his recent addition to the GB coaching team is thoroughly deserved.

Chris Chester at Wakefield has similarly been able to extract the right results from his charges on a limited player spend.

Tony Smith has a long and distinguished coaching record in the game, but having only just been installed as the head coach at Hull KR – in replacing master coach Tim Sheens – he’s probably viewed as having the toughest task.

Smith will need every bit of his 70 per cent career coaching win record to drag Hull KR away from the relegation trap door.

Chester’s 50 per cent career coaching win record on the other hand will be a worry for Michael Carter down at Belle Vue HQ.

Truth be told, I personally don’t get too carried away by the statistics brigade. Coaches are a unique bunch. At the pointy end of the professional game, all of these coaches can coach.

But I’m reminded of Sir Graham Lowe’s famous words booming in my ears. Lowie said: “There are two types of coaches. Those that are sacked. And those that are waiting to be sacked.”

Chinese philosopher Confucius would be proud mate. Maybe Confucius would have made a handy rugby league coach.

For those from our #BullsNation having journeyed to Toulouse this weekend, make sure you have plenty of fluid before tonight's 8pm (local time) kick-off at Stade Ernest Argeles, Blagnac. And don’t forget your sun screen and a hat as sunset is about 9.45pm.

Our Away Guide gives you a starting point, but I know from my experiences in 2017 our fans are experts at navigating around the many Toulouse bars and restaurants and night spots.

It all makes for a colourful edition in our challenge for play-off honours. Coverage will start tonight at around 6pm GMT on Pulse 2 for those of you hunkered at home.

#COYB #BullsNation #BrotherhoodofBulls #TheBullsareComing