THERE may be snow on them there hills, and it was a chilly three degrees at Odsal yesterday afternoon, but the outlook is definitely sunny as the John Kear era dawned.

Kear’s new-look Bulls squad were on the back foot for the opening ten minutes but were dominant both in terms of territory and possession against an inexperienced Halifax outfit for the rest of the half on their way to a victory in their initial pre-season friendly.

The hosts led 12-6 at half-time and it would have been an injustice had they not been in front at the interval.

But in a second half where Richard Marshall’s visitors were more to the fore, the Bulls not only kept them out but added two tries to the two they had scored in the first half.

The most surprising development of the afternoon, however, bearing in mind that this was only a friendly, was the announcement that the kick-off would be delayed for five minutes due to problems in getting people into the ground.

An attendance of 2,226 was later given out and the Bulls, who were playing towards the South Bank, conceded the first penalty against Marshall’s side, who contained four or maybe five players who are likely to figure in the opening match-day squad of their Championship season.

Hooker Brandon Moore took play towards the home line and found scrum half Ben Johnston, who in turn passed to full back James Woodburn-Hall, who later left the field with concussion.

In their next play, prop Frazer Morris scored for centre Jordan Syme to add the goal. Yet the Bulls would not only not concede another penalty for the rest of the half but gained seven themselves, which was part of the reason why they were able to be so dominant.

But breaking down the Halifax defence proved another matter altogether, although they were unlucky not to get at least one more try awarded by new Grade One-qualified referee Liam Staveley from Bradford.

Scrum half Elliot Minchella, one of nine Bulls players who are featuring for their home-town club, showed good feet to cross the line, only to be held up, while a cross-kick by skipper Lee Smith almost brought reward for Ross Oakes, who popped up on his opposite wing.

Prop Steve Crossley added some oomph for the Bulls in attack and defence when he came on – and he was the next host player to be held up over the line, while Minchella came even closer as he burrowed his way towards the line, Staveley’s no-try decision bringing howls of derision from the home fans in what was a generally sound display by the Bradford whistler.

Lee Peltier and Jamel Goodall also showed their power going forwards but it took until the 27th minute for the Bulls to get an equalising score, with interchange Liam Kirk going over for stand-off Smith to add the goal.

Loose forward Sam Hallas was the next Bull to threaten the whitewash in the 32nd minute – but two minutes later they were in the lead as a grubber was deflected enough to slow it down and make it easy for Minchella to pounce, Smith tagging on the extras for 12-6.

Halifax looked as if they had received some stern words at the interval, so positive were they at the start of the second half, but the Bulls were in no mood to concede, with right winger Josh Rickett finger-tipping the ball dead to deny trialist Kian Morgan.

That was in the 54th minute and three minutes later Rickett was breaking away, which paved the way for Welsh international Dalton Grant to score on his debut, with Smith hitting the far post with his kick from near the right touchline.

The penalty count was 3-3 in the second half but the Bulls showed defensive togetherness in not letting in a second try and Hallas’ kick brought Minchella his second try in the 64th minute.

Interchange Rowan Milnes added the goal and the only worrying sight for Bulls fans was seeing Peltier limp off after that final score.