JOHN Kear hopes the need to start games better has now hit home following the Bulls' latest victory.

They led via a Connor Farrell try on Easter Monday at Odsal against Barrow Raiders in what was the first time that they had opened the scoring in six matches since triumphing 16-6 at Batley Bulldogs on March 10.

They may have won six of those seven matches, only falling 25-20 in controversial circumstances at Widnes Vikings, but Bulls coach Kear would rather that they didn’t put themselves on the back foot in the first place.

He said of the 26-14 success over the Raiders: “I thought we started really well, and we emphasised the start as Barrow got 12 points up against Toronto on Good Friday and made it really tough for them for a large period of the game.

“We played set-for-set rugby and I was happy with the first half on Monday, not so happy with the second half but delighted with the result.”

Now the focus is on rest and recovery, with the players having had two days off before resuming training tomorrow in preparation for the home match against Rochdale Hornets this weekend.

Kear said of the Easter weekend double header: “We tried to rest and recover as well as we could with a three-day turnaround.

“What people have got to realise is that we have had a five-day turnaround, a three-day turnaround and we now have a six-day turnaround, so rest and recovery is as important as preparation, if not more important.

“We have got to make sure that we get it right for the weekend against Rochdale.”

Kear added that he wasn’t surprised that Barrow finished the stronger, bearing in mind what the Bulls have gone through recently.

He said: “We had committed so much to the previous two performances late on, and you have to remember that Featherstone was not 80 minutes, it was 85 minutes – 80 minutes plus five minutes - that it might have caught up with us a bit, and Halifax was played in very hot weather.

“But I am delighted that we have come through in the Challenge Cup and picked up four points over Easter.”