BULLS head coach John Kear insisted he was not concerned by the defeat to Swinton, saying pre-season stumbles won't matter if his side beat Featherstone in the Challenge Cup in a fortnight.

He conceded that some players didn't have their best games, but pointed out how Bradford were the superior side before the break, with Danny Brough pulling the strings.

But it was a less successful day for his half-back partner Jordan Lilley, with Kear admitting the late tackle which saw the scrum-half sent to the sin-bin "wasn't very clever".

Asked whether he was disappointed to see Bulls blow an 18-6 lead to lose 26-22, Kear insisted: "If you said to me we'd lose to Swinton and Keighley, but beat Featherstone in the cup, I'd take that.

"We can't predict the future, even if we attempt to as coaches with our selections and tactics, but really it's just been a very useful afternoon and it was great to see some rugby league at long last.

"I wasn't bothered about the result, it was about how well we played. Some did really well and some didn't.

"We'd have preferred to win but we didn't. Those changes in the second half were bound to affect us, but Swinton are a good team.

"They played some lovely stuff through our middle and that's something we have to make sure doesn't happen against Keighley."

Praising Brough, Kear said: "In the first half, when we had a certain gentleman on, we looked a far superior team to what we did after the break.

"He was controlling the game. What I've got to do now is make sure him and Jordan link up a bit better.

"I need to make sure that Jordan knows the rules, and that late challenges end up in sin-bins, so that was a learning situation for us as well."

Kear had talked pre-match about how his players had been like rottweilers in training, desperate to get on to the pitch to make some big hits.

But he refused to use that as an excuse for Lilley, saying: "It just wasn't very clever.

"If you tackle somebody late after they've passed or kicked the ball, it's a sin-bin.

"The RFL have that rule in place and I support that. We've had lots of whiplash injuries on pivotal players because of tackles like that.

"If it's a late challenge you shouldn't do it, that's the top and bottom of it."

Kear also confirmed after the game that all 27 Bulls players who were involved came through unscathed.