JOHN Kear felt the Bulls passed an acid test on opening day despite coming up empty-handed against promotion favourites London.

Kear’s side were edged out 18-14 by the Broncos in their first Championship game at the Tetley’s Stadium.

Matty Dawson-Jones scored two tries on his debut and Thomas Doyle added a third in a pulsating curtain-raiser.

Kear said: “It bodes very well for the future. If we can stay injury-free, we’re going to have a decent season and I think we can take that from this first game.

“I thought the performance was really good. We played well as a team and there were some stellar individual displays as well.

“When London went out to 12-0 ahead, you were thinking ‘how would we react?’

“Well, we reacted tremendously well. They didn’t cave in and showed great fortitude and desire to come back.

“We lost a bit of composure just at the end but we’ll have to do something about the stadium clock. The players thought the game was over and that’s why they tried an absolute nonsensical play.

“But these are things that we’ve just got to sort out.”

Kear’s biggest concern about operating with a smaller squad in 2020 is the risk of injuries. He was relieved to see his side emerge unscathed

“We’ve always been confident. It’s the injury question mark which is the one against us.

“Fortunately, we’ve come through okay. Anthony England has had his foot stood on but he should be all right for next week.

“Liam Kirk has got a dead leg but those ones you can cope with.”

But Kear may review the Bulls’ goal-kicking ahead of next weekend’s trip to York. Jordan Lilley missed two of this three conversions – and that was ultimately the four-point difference.

“That’s going to be something we have to look at,” said Kear, who may pass over the duties to Rowan Milnes.

The on-loan Hull KR half back said: “We had a plan to ambush them in round one ever since the start of pre-season. We’re disappointed we didn’t finish them off and get the win but it was a pleasing performance.”

Broncos coach Danny Ward was just relieved to take the two points. He admitted: “It was an ugly win but we knew it was going to be tough.”

“I think we made it harder than it should have been but credit to Bradford. They were resilient and wouldn’t go away.

“Bradford can be anything they want this year. They’ve got some very talented players – write them off at your peril.”