JOHN Kear has applauded Adam Simpson for his work in getting the Bulls fit and firing for the new season.

The Bulls have suffered back-to-back defeats to open the Championship campaign against highly-fancied duo London and Featherstone.

But Kear’s side have run them both close and the coach insists the players are not lacking in fitness.

Kear has already stated his belief that the Bulls can be one of the fittest teams in the competition – and believes the early evidence is backing that up with the amount of game time the forwards played on a tough pitch on Sunday.

“I think our head of strength and conditioning has done a great job,” he said of Simpson’s programme throughout pre-season.

“You saw the minutes our middle men have played, Sam Hallas in particular, and we are looking as fit as fiddles.

“That bodes really well for when the grounds do start getting a bit quicker. We can play a really quick game and it will help us.

“There were lots of positives from the weekend but the negatives are we haven’t got the brandy and cigars and we’re on zero points after two games.”

George Flanagan’s suspension is finally up and he is eligible for Sunday’s Challenge Cup fourth-round tie with amateurs Underbank Rangers.

Kear kept with an unchanged team against Featherstone and will consider his options.

He added: “The players deserved to keep the shirts and we’ll have a good look again for next week. We’ll see what the outcome is when we’ve done our in-depth review.

“We picked up one or two bumps and bruises but nothing that I think will rule anybody out for Sunday.”