IT was a chastening afternoon at Post Office Road for Bulls today, as they slumped to a brutal 44-0 Championship defeat against promotion rivals Featherstone.

They were already 26 points down by the break, having shipped five tries, before going on to concede another three after half-time.

They remain third in the table, but on this evidence, they are a long way off title favourites Fev and Toulouse.

There were also injury concerns for Ben Evans, who limped off early with a leg problem, and young Ebon Scurr, who had to be stretchered off wearing a neck brace.

Bulls arguably shaded the opening exchanges on a baking hot day in West Yorkshire.

Jordan Lilley dabbed through on the last tackle, stand-in half Brandon Pickersgill was able to keep the ball in play, and Craig Kopczak had to knock the ball out for a goal-line drop out.

David Foggin-Johnston then looked to have gone in in the right corner, but a pass went forward and the try was disallowed.

Fev went ahead after 13 minutes though, and from there they never looked back.

They broke away at lightning pace and got through the line thanks to James Lockwood and Craig Hall.

The latter drew full-back Joe Brown and the ball was flicked to Connor Jones, who darted in under the posts.

Hall blasted the ball through the posts to convert and make it 6-0.

After a cheap penalty given away by Rhys Evans, Rovers quickly added another try, this time out on the left edge.

They used possession smartly, and Hall strolled in as the man over for 10-0.

A lucky score for Featherstone came when the ball was shifted centrally to Hall. 

He tried to kick through and the ball bounced off a Bulls chest straight back to him, before he laid off to Gareth Gale for a simple score on the right.

Bulls nearly hit back, as Ross Oakes was held up over the line, before Brad England slipped with the line at his mercy.

Bradford kept knocking on at the play the ball, and that sloppiness soon manifested itself into further tries for the home side

Josh Hardcastle made a brilliant falling offload, managing to flick the ball to the left to loanee Will Dagger, who skated over under the posts.

Almost immediately from the restart, interchange John Davies somehow wriggled through a couple of tackles and flicked it inside for Thomas Minns to cross the line.

Hall converted both of those to make it 26-0.

Bulls did start the second half much better, with plenty of possession in the opening 10 minutes or so.

Scurr nearly burrowed his way over, before the visitors were really unlucky moments later.

Pickersgill floated a pass out to Reece Hamlett, who knocked it down for Oakes to flop over, but the ball went forward.

Dagger then looked to have got through a big gap to score but his teammates were illegally blocking, meaning the try was disallowed.

Pickersgill was soon stopped just short of the line, as Bradford again just failed to break through.

Scurr’s horrible looking injury led to the game being stopped for several minutes and sucked the life out of proceedings for a little while, before Bulls teenager Joe Burton was somehow denied by a last ditch tackle.

Fev then broke away and looked certain to score. They seemed to have overplayed it, before getting a second chance, but great scrambling defence saw Gale lose the ball in the corner.

They did make the second half breakthrough soon after, when a stunning pass out wide from Davies found Dagger, who sliced through on the left wing, before he flung the ball inside for Tom Holmes, who went over for a converted score.

Dagger was denied a scintillating second try by a forward pass from Hall, but then substitute Dean Parata bundled his way over.

Fellow interchange Callum Field wriggled through half hearted challenges from Steve Crossley and Tom Doyle to get an eighth, with Hall converting both of those late tries to make it 44-0.

Frankie Halton and Hall both should have scored at the death, with the former denied by a forward pass and the latter dropping a high kick in the in-goal area, but it mattered little, as Bulls left the home of their rivals with their tails tucked firmly between their legs.

FEATHERSTONE: Dagger, Gale, Hall, Hardcastle, Minns, Holmes, Brown, Lussick, Day, Halton, Kopczak, Jones, Lockwood. Interchange: Parata, Moors, Davies, Field.

BULLS: Brown, Hamlett, Oakes, R. Evans, Foggin-Johnston, Pickersgill, Lilley, Crossley, Doyle, B. Evans, Gallagher, England, Hallas. Interchange: Burton, Robson, Scurr, Walker.