JOHN Kear predicts the Bulls' confidence will soar because they are learning to win the hard way.

The experienced Odsal coach feels the nerve-jangling manner of their victory at York on the opening weekend of League One will mean more to his players.

As the focus switches towards the Challenge Cup clash with West Wales Raiders, the first competitive home game of 2018, Kear intends to keep that buzz within the squad.

"One thing you can't give a team is that competitiveness and desire to win and they showed that in bucket-loads on Sunday," he said.

"Sport shouldn't be easy. It should be a challenge and difficult to achieve.

"That's when you feel the rewards and the enjoyments of achieving. That's what the players had and good luck to them.

"The lads who are here from last year will have enjoyed that. There are a lot of newcomers as well – we had seven or eight players on competitive debut.

"But this group are experiencing now what it feels like to achieve when it's been so difficult and you've had to work.

"You come off absolutely shattered, sitting in the changing room, but there is a contentment about that. It's the best feeling you can get in sport."

New boys West Wales were left kicking their heels on Sunday after the scheduled game against Newcastle had to be called off late because of an "administrative error" from the Llanelli club.

Kear may look to shake things up for the weekend but is convinced the Bulls will grow stronger once the season is in full swing.

He said: "Someone told me our team at York had an average age of 23 years and eight months. I like that sort of stat.

"It's a young team and you tend to find with young teams that they do grow and get better as the year goes on.

"There aren't any gimmes in this league. You saw that with the way York set off and posted six points in the first five minutes – they were playing at 120 miles an hour.

"Fair dos to our lads. They battened down the hatches and ultimately came out the right side of the score.

"There is room for improvement and what pleases me is I know we will get better. I think there are exciting times around the corner."