RHYS Evans believes a packed pre-season helped Bulls hit the ground running in their Championship opener.

His new club started life back in the second tier with a thrilling 17-16 success at home to Featherstone thanks to a match-winning drop goal from Dane Chisholm.

Some felt that six friendly matches was perhaps overdoing it but the winger agreed it was beneficial in getting players up to speed for the big kick-off.

"Absolutely," he said. "We all felt ready. John Kear’s looked after the squad. We have a big squad but everyone’s had decent amount of game time – and the 17 that were selected were raring to go.

"The fact we have played so many games in pre-season and they have been tight games helped.

"We kept our heads and though we conceded a couple of tries against Featherstone back to back, we got our momentum back and took the opportunity to take a drop goal and defended to a win."

The former Warrington flier has settled quickly at Bulls after signing from Leigh in the off-season and already senses a good team spirit.

After his league debut against Fev, he said: "I'm really enjoying it here. The lads and the staff have made me really welcome - you can tell by the celebrations at the end we’re a very tight-knit group."

Evans added: "In the first home game back in Championship you want to lay down a marker, start with a win and get some momentum.

"We’ve done that and now we’ve got two games on the road (starting at Swinton on Sunday) and hopefully we can carry that on and get a good start to the season."