JOHN Kear has seen pretty much everything in a long and successful career in rugby league.

But the scenes after the final hooter sounded at Odsal will stick with him for a long time.

His Bulls side had done the day justice with an emphatic performance against Sheffield Eagles – a win that will guarantee sixth place providing they beat bottom club Rochdale.

Then the emotions of the occasion took over as fans swarmed on to the famous pitch one last time.

“I thought it was absolutely fantastic,” said the Bulls coach after giving the dust time to settle.

“The fans made it so special – it’s never taken me so long to get off the field.

“I thought the players handled it great. They performed well and got the win.

“During the game, we did our jobs and then I thought they were very respectful and dignified afterwards.

“The genuine warmth between the players and fans was fantastic. It was a great day and obviously now we’re moving on to pastures new.”

The squad have had little time to reflect on the enormity of saying goodbye to the club’s home since 1934.

Building up for tomorrow’s final game of the season at the Crown Oil Arena has kept minds focused on the job in hand.

Sam Hallas intends to sign off a solid campaign with one more win against a home side consigned to playing next year in League One. But he admits that makes the Hornets potentially dangerous opponents.

He warned: “We won’t take Rochdale lightly.

“It’s tough for them but that’s sport. We knew that being relegated in 2017.

“We finished bottom then and Rochdale came to Odsal (on the final day) and we put 70 on them.

“They have nothing to lose and can express themselves. They’ve got some good players so there’s no reason why they cannot come out and put in a strong performance.

“This is our last week together as a team as we want to go out with a memorable performance and send some of the lads off with fond memories.

“We want to go out with a bang and finish sixth, to come up and finish just outside the play-offs is testament to this playing group.

“The three-year play John spoke about was promotion, consolidation and challenging next year and to finish just outside the play-offs is more than consolidating.

“It’s been a really good season and we’ve unearthed some good players. All the signs look positive.”

Vice-captain Elliot Minchella feels a slight pang of regret at falling just short of the play-offs, which had been the aim.

“It is our own fault with games we should have won,” he said. “But sixth is not a bad return from a newly-promoted side and that is what we are going for, so we need to put in a professional job."

As a Bradford lad growing up a Bulls fan, Minchella understands the hurt over leaving the club’s spiritual home. Last Sunday will stick with him.

“I remember shaking hands with Sheffield and from the dug-out you saw a massive crowd running towards us.

“My dad was in tears, it affects so many people. It meant a lot to me that we had that moment.

“A lot of people were crying and digging up bits of grass where ashes had been scattered etc. It’s more than just a rugby field.”