JOHN Kear admits he probably should have rotated his squad for the Summer Bash after a punishing schedule in recent weeks.

Bradford Bulls came unstuck in Blackpool after succumbing to a 21-14 defeat against Halifax in a game where there was little room for free-flowing rugby.

This marks the beginning of a three-game match-up between the local rivals in just five weeks.

For the Bulls, it comes on the back of a busy Easter which was followed by a taxing transatlantic trip to Toronto and then last weekend’s mammoth effort to beat Leeds Rhinos in the Coral Challenge Cup.

Their cup success has bred an extended period of congestion.

Ross Peltier was the only Bulls player involved in the Rhinos game to drop out of the matchday squad for the Bash.

Kear feels, in hindsight, maybe he should have played his hand slightly differently.

The Bulls coach said: “I’m a bit filthy with myself, because perhaps I should have rotated the squad a little bit more.

“But I wanted to reward the players who played so well and earned the right for another crack.

“I think that was one where perhaps my instinct took over my rationale.

“Perhaps I should have sat one or two more out.”

The player to benefit from that single change in the matchday squad was Colton Roche, who jumped onto the bench after making his loan deal at the Bulls permanent in the week.

Despite seeing limited game-time in the match, Kear said the prop performed well, having come onto the field in difficult circumstances.

The coach added: “I think he did okay. It’s tough to get in the game.

“With the interchanges now, you tend to keep one back.

“You only use three in the first half and keep one back.

“I think it’s emotionally draining for players as well.

“Yes, I think he did okay, but I’m going to look at myself as well because perhaps there should have been more than Ross who sat it out with regard to the energy they invested last week.”

The Bulls can now regroup in an eight-day period until their next game, when they face a trip on Sunday to Featherstone, who smashed York 42-10 in their Bash appearance, taking them into fourth in the league.

Such a turnaround for Kear’s mean has been unprecedented of late and the coach admitted an extended rest would benefit them massively.

Kear spoke of how Bradford had much to learn from the defeat to Halifax in anticipation of their Coral Challenge Cup Quarter-Final clash in two weeks’ time.

But, as ever, his mind is focused on the next hurdle.

Kear said: “Forget about two weeks’ time, we’ve got a very important game next Sunday when we’ll have the luxury of an eight-day turnaround.

“Hopefully we’ll be energised for the full 80 minutes in that game.”