BULLS head coach John Kear still found plenty of time to laud certain individuals, despite his overall disappointment with the performance in the 23-22 Championship win over Swinton yesterday.

He was most effusive in his praise for teenage full-back Joe Burton, who came off the interchange bench and more than held his own, putting in a couple of crucial big tackles for good measure.

Kear said: “I thought we did play some good stuff and I felt the debut of Joe Burton, he was absolutely exceptional and he’s given me something to think about.

“I asked him during the week if he was ready for first team football and he said that he was. I think when you look at how he did, you’ve got to concur.”

Jordan Lilley knocked over what turned out to be a decisive drop goal with 20 minutes left, and Kear said: “It’s always a lot better to go three scores up and that brought us that. Doing that with 20 minutes to go, you wouldn’t get the same pressure as you would trying to pull that off with 10 minutes to go.

“It was a smart thing to do and it’s proved the game-winning play, just as it was against Halifax.”

Finally, Brandon Pickersgill's twinkle toes saw him set up tries for David Foggin-Johnston and Danny Brough before the break, while he raced home on the left edge to score a lovely try of his own in the second half.

Kear said: “I thought Brandon played really well, he put Joe Brown in too but it was ruled a forward pass. As I said, there were maybe half a dozen chances we just haven’t nailed.

“We’ve got to look at that execution of our plays, just to tidy it up and look at the details within them so we’re better.

“There were big efforts from the middle men, some smart stuff and good finishes.

“But I counted about four chances that we should have nailed and three tries we shouldn’t have conceded so there’s plenty to work on.”

Pickersgill, the architect of so much of Bulls' positive play, was taken off late on with a head injury, though Kear confirmed he would be fine.

And there is hope going forward for Brad England too, who missed out yesterday with a niggle.

Kear said: “Brad England just couldn’t run with his groin injury when he had his fitness test on Saturday.

“He’d obviously damaged it up at Whitehaven and we tried to nurse him through this week, but he couldn’t do it.

“We’ll have to rehab and rest him and try and get him out on the field for the next game.”