BULLS head coach Geoff Toovey insists his side will stay motivated to the end of the season after their relegation to League One was confirmed yesterday.

Bulls lost 26-10 at home to Toulouse and, though relegation rivals Oldham and Swinton also lost at Sheffield and Batley respectively, there are not enough games left for them to leapfrog them both to safety.

With 12 points left to play for in the Championship Shield, they trail Oldham by 11 and Swinton by 12 but those sides still have to play each other, meaning any lingering hopes of escaping are mathematically gone.

The only chance for Bulls now is if, as has been widely rumoured, the RFL decide to shake up their league structure and increase the number of clubs in the Championship next season.

Toovey said of his troops: “At the end of the day they are strong bunch of players. Their resolve hasn’t been questioned all year, particularly at the beginning of the year when the club was in receivership, they were still here and training a month later.

“To go from that, to the point we are now is a brave achievement. We would have liked to have been in a better position for sure but I think you’ll see the same effort that you saw yesterday in the next six games.”

With a mountain to climb, Bulls relegation has looked inevitable for weeks but coach Leigh Beattie, who had been at the helm for much of the season during the wait for Toovey’s visa, admitted he was ‘devastated, demoralised and saddened’.

Bulls were always behind against a Toulouse side who are odds on to win the Championship Shield after narrowly missing out on a top-four spot.

But they had opportunities in the second half to draw level, only for chances to go begging.

Toovey said: “Like many of the games this year, I thought the effort was there but just our execution wasn’t great.

“Even when the score was 22-10 with 25 minutes to go, we dropped the ball over the line on one side and then we dropped the ball over the line on the other side. We could have been ‘even stevens’ but instead we’re down the other end.

“They are the best side in the bottom eight by a long shot and if the bounce of the ball had gone our way and a few other things we were well and truly in the match.

“I’m disappointed with the loss but pleased with the effort – unfortunately effort doesn’t always lead to the right result.”