The glorious winter sunshine - for the first hour at least - added to the sense of house-warming for the Bulls.

The weather was on its best behaviour as they “took the keys” for their new home from home at Dewsbury’s Tetley's Stadium.

The friendly with the landlords, who pocketed a tidy sum from the 1,290 crowd, will have served its purpose even in defeat for John Kear’s side.

Off the pitch, the Bulls settled into the away dressing room that will be their regular abode for the coming Championship campaign.

On it, they sized up the compact dimensions that are completely at odds with Odsal. It’s going to need some work.

There is one more opportunity to familiarise themselves with the far tighter surroundings next week with the first official “home” date against York before the real Championship business kicks in with the visit of London Broncos.

The Bulls squad included a first appearance for Levy Nzoungou after the forward’s clearance from France came through during the week.

Kear also took advantage of the newly-signed dual-reg deal with Hull FC to take a look at young quartet Connor Wynne, Kieran Buchanan, Charlie Graham and Charles Patterson-Lund.

Sam Hallas, Brandon Pickersgill and Sam Smith missed out with knocks and Anthony England was ill. With no Hallas and George Flanagan suspended, Jordan Lilley took up the hooking duties while Joe Brown replaced Pickersgill at full back.

The pitch looked like a postage stamp in comparison with Odsal and both sides had early efforts ruled out, Harry Shackleton for obstruction and then Dewsbury winger Davey Dixon put a foot in touch as he went over in the corner.

There was quite an intensity to the early exchanges but little flow with the play punctuated by a string of penalties. The Bulls showed some strong goal-line defence to smother the hosts and keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes.

The scrappiness continued as Lilley scorned a good opportunity by laying off into Dewsbury hands under the posts. Then Will Oakes scrambled to hold up Brad Gallagher as the Bulls teenager tried to touch down.

Dewsbury threatened with back-to-back sets in front of the Bulls line but the white shirts again stood strong.

There were no 'gimmes' on either side as defences continued to hold firm, with the knock-ons you expect in pre-season breaking up the play.

The scoreboard wasn’t switched on – and it hadn’t been needed for half an hour.

But finally the stalemate was broken on 34 minutes as three consecutive Dewsbury sets earned their reward, Frazer Morris ploughing over from close range.

And, like buses, having waited so long for one – the second quickly followed.

The Bulls for once let themselves down under pressure as a high kick popped loose and Jon Magrin was there to pounce and spin through to punish his former club. Oakes knocked over both simple kicks to give the Rams a 12-0 interval advantage.

Nzoungou had taken some stopping with his punchy carries and it needed three Rams to stop him short as the Bulls resumed with an attacking spell of their own.

But it was Dewsbury who struck once more after Graham knocked on diving backwards to claim a chip over the top. From the ensuing set, Magrin was in again with a 10-metre burst that Brown could not resist.

And another former Bull inflicted further damage as Dewsbury continued to clock up the points.

Liam Johnson, a regular figure in the 2018 promotion team, sucked in three defenders before laying off just as he went to ground. Full back Joe Martin was on hand to accept the gift and dance in under the posts.

The Bulls needed a response and got it through an unlikely source. Liam Kirk scored only one try last season but he got their first points at their temporary home with a short-range finish from Thomas Doyle’s pass.

As the visitors pushed to strike again, Lilley, Evan Hodgson and David Foggin-Johnston all got within range but the Rams slammed the door shut.

But the Bulls had their tails up and got the second try as Lilley’s grubber kick deflected off a Dewsbury body and Adam Rookes claimed the first score of his season-long loan from Hull KR.

Dewsbury blew an 18-point lead to lose at Keighley the week before and were clearly determined not to let another big advantage slip, even in another friendly. So, when they marched into prime position, Morgan Punchard nailed the drop-goal to make absolutely sure.

DEWSBURY: Martin; Gabriel, W Oakes, Fleming, Dixon; Punchard, Knowles; Moorhouse, Speakman, Reilly, Esslemont, L Johnson, Annakin. Interchange: Magrin, Day, Morris, Thornton, Brierley, Davies, Nelmes.

BULLS: Brown; Foggin-Johnston, Buchanan, R Oakes, G Johnson; Milnes, Shackleton; Crossley, Lilley, Kirk, Rooks, Gallagher, Hodgson. Interchange: Nzoungou, Barlow, Ho, Doyle, Wynne, Graham, Patterson-Lund, Green.

REFEREE: Nick Bennett