BULLS skipper Steve Crossley thinks his side need to prepare for a lot of forward battles on a narrow Tetley’s Stadium pitch this season.

An interchangeable Bradford side enjoyed a 6-4 win in a fiery final friendly last time out over York City Knights with the action mostly coming down the centre of the pitch as the big men struggled to crash over the whitewash.

Crossley reckons this will be a theme which will follow his team throughout their Betfred 2020 Championship campaign in Dewsbury.

The 30-year-old believes that gruelling game against York gave his team the perfect final preparations before the upcoming curtain raiser when they host London Broncos on Sunday.

Crossley said: “We needed that (victory over York), a good tough grinding game and that is exactly what we got so that gives us confidence heading into the season now.

“I think we can say the size of the pitch, every game is going to be a forward battle. It is going to be a real tough grind for whoever comes here.

“London are a quality side after just dropping down from Super League. Every game we play on here we are expecting a real tough battle but it is one that we will all be up for.”

Crossley has captained Bulls since they regained their place in rugby league’s second tier last year.

Bradford narrowly missed out on a play-off spot in their return with only a point separating them with fifth-placed Featherstone Rovers.

Last weekend’s opponents York finished an impressive third, losing out in their semi-finals to Rovers.

Crossley was pleased with how the whole squad performed against quality opposition on Sunday - especially the youngsters, who played the second half and were able to see out the win.

He said: “Ball in hand we competed pretty well to say the conditions were fairly poor

“There were a few penalties and errors in there but we kept them scoreless in the first half.

“They (the young players) maintained the standards from when the first team left the field.

“They came on and defended high and competed well with York, they have done themselves a favour.

“I think we can come away from Sunday very happy with what we achieved.

“It is always a good battle against York and I am sure it will continue this season.”

A lighting issue meant the match was called off early.

Crossley hopes it was just a one-off, adding: “It is nothing to do with us as players but hopefully the groundstaff or whatever has gone on outside the ground can be sorted out for next week when we are here to start the season off.”