JOHN Kear accused York of gamesmanship after the Bulls’ play-off hopes were rocked by a dramatic one-point loss.

His side outscored the Knights by five tries to four with Ethan Ryan claiming a hat-trick. But York maintained their hoodoo between the clubs when Liam Harris nailed a last-minute drop goal to win 25-24.

The defeat saw the Bulls drop three points off the Championship’s top five with six games to go.

Kear was frustrated to finish empty-handed – and accused York of bending the concussion rule to get another sub on for the closing stages.

Liam Salter went off after the Knights had used up their interchanges. But the hosts claimed it was for a head knock, which allows you to bring on a replacement.

That provoked angry scenes on the touchline with Kear convinced that York had played the system.

He said: “Their guy goes down behind the posts and York have used all their interchanges with 13 minutes to go.

“He walks to the sideline and then all of a sudden the doctor runs down and starts signalling for a head knock.

“If we’re going to abuse processes like that then we might as well not have them. It’s poor.

“Maybe we need independent doctors to decide which is a head knock and which isn’t. Then perhaps interchanges will be used a little more conservatively.

“I think the RFL have got to really have a look at that.

“We were saying to the players ‘stay in the grind’. They had used all their interchanges, so you stay working at it.

“We had one up our sleeves because perhaps we played the game to the laws.

“It was a tough game. York base their games on completions, grinds and working you down and they do that very well.

“But it annoys me when the laws are bent like that.”

The Bulls trailed 14-8 at half-time after Ryan had another score chalked off for stepping over the in-goal line and were twice 10 points behind. Having levelled the score at 24-24, Jordan Lilley saw a drop goal from the halfway line hit the post before Harris stepped up to win it for York.

Kear added: “I think the best team lost, the team that played the most rugby and created the most chances.

“York had the majority of the possession – I think if we’d had as much ball as the opposition, we’d have come away with the win.

“Five tries to four perhaps tells you that but the scoreboard shows that York have won.”

The Bulls will also assess Rhys Evans, whose comeback from three months out was ended early by a high shot.

“It was a high tackle, no doubt about that,” said Kear. “He’ll have to do his concussion protocol now.

“Obviously that was a head knock and he couldn’t return.”