JOHN Kear is convinced the Bulls will give Wakefield a proper run for their money in tonight’s Challenge Cup showdown.

The Championship visitors may be big underdogs but Kear is relishing another crack at the competition he loves.

And the veteran coach, a two-time former Challenge Cup winner, insists his side are in the mood to rattle his old club.

He said: “I can tell with how the players are talking and how they are acting in team meetings and practice. They will play well.

“It’s a break from the Championship. It’s a knock-out competition that I love, trap-door rugby with no second chance.

“It just makes for a really special game against a club that I hold very dear to my heart.”

Kear coached Wakefield from 2006-2011, steering them to a club-record fifth-placed finish in Super League. He returned in 2017 as head of rugby with current Trinity chief Chris Chester before leaving to take the Bulls helm.

“I thoroughly enjoyed every minute,” added Kear. “The people there are fantastic.

“It’s an over-achieving club, one renowned for punching above its weight.

“I always enjoy going back just when I’m watching, so to go back coaching against them is even better.

“There’s a special spirit at the club. It’s always reflected in the performances.

“Inevitably, they’ll come up at some stage of the season and spank someone’s backside who they shouldn’t.

“But we’re going to try and turn the tables on them and bat above our average. Hopefully we can give them one or two anxious moments.”

Chester was in the Hull FC side that Kear led to Challenge Cup glory in 2005 and the pair are good friends.

But that will be pushed aside as the Bulls attempt another giant-killing act to follow last year’s shock victory over Leeds.

Kear said: “I’ll have a pint with him afterwards but it’s very much business as usual.

“It will be a tough task because they are a very good team.

“I do think Wakefield are in a better place than Leeds were at that time.

“Leeds had just sacked their coach and there was turmoil in the camp.

“Wakefield aren’t like that. They are pretty settled and have had some good performances this season.

“It’s completely different from that point of view and also we’re playing them at Belle Vue and not Odsal.

“It’s a different challenge but one we’ll enjoy. I’m certain there will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere.”

Liam Kirk was left out of the 21-man squad after suffering another concussion in last week’s win against Sheffield. The Rhinos have also stopped on-loan Rhys Evans from being cup-tied.

Kear added: “I know it’s a short turn-round but it’s been a real pleasurable week. It’s a free hit.

“The odds are against us but then they were when Ben Stokes was out in the middle and batted that ball all around Headingley Stadium to overcome them. That’s what we’ll be trying to do.”