JOHN Kear saluted his half backs as the Bulls battled to a much-needed 16-6 win in tough conditions at Batley.

Kear’s side conquered the wild weather and the Mount Pleasant slope to pick up their first Championship points since round two.

The Bulls scored all their points going down the hill in the first-half with tries from Ethan Ryan, Ross Oakes and Liam Kirk before restricting Batley to just one response late on.

Kear highlighted the pairing of Jordan Lilley and makeshift partner Matty Wildie for laying the foundations for the win.

He said: “The half backs were sensational. Matty Wildie, who’s normally a hooker and Jordan Lilley who returned and was massive for us.

“We controlled the game going downhill, which allowed us to build up our lead. And then coming up the hill we were really clever with when we put the ball out of play and so on.

“The only downside to the half backs’ game was hitting the post in the second-half – but we’ll let them off that one.”

Kear felt the Bulls had learned from the previous week’s defeat against Toulouse and mastered the testing conditions.

“I’m delighted because it was everything we’d practised during the week,” he added.

“If you read our tip sheets, it was exactly like that. The players thoroughly deserve the plaudits they should rightly get.

“We knew the weather was predicted to be like that and we knew it would be very heavy with the slope.

“It was the smartness we demonstrated. I thought we were really good defensively.

“We posed questions against their go-forward simply by our line-speed and ruck control.

“When you’ve lost three on the bounce, you don’t want to make it four. You had to find a way to win because the conditions meant it was never going to be free-flowing.

“It had to be an effort-based game-plan and they executed it very well.”

Kear also gave a debut to winger David Foggin-Johnston and was happy with his contribution.

“It wasn’t his conditions out there but he certainly worked very hard. He had a little target of 100 metres plus in his carries, so we’ll see if he’s achieved that.”

Lilley suffered a dead leg and will not train tomorrow to get extra treatment to be ready for next weekend’s clash at Widnes.

Jake Webster had a bang on the head but he passed the injury assessment with no problems.