BRADFORD Bulls, their place in the Betfred Championship play-offs now secure, will be hoping that both of their half-backs stay injury free on the run-in. 

The 36-18 victory at York City Knights on Sunday again showed what a potent attacking force the Bulls are when Danny Brough and Jordan Lilley are on the field together. 

Head coach John Kear reiterated: “I have said that, and you must be sick of me saying it, whenever we have had two half-backs we have won, and that is the top and bottom of it.  

“Danny put his hand up to play after last week (the unconvincing 30-26 win against Swinton) as he was not happy and the players weren’t happy, and you can see the difference when he is out there, and Jordan Lilley is also maturing greatly. 

“Danny’s calves were tightening up in the second half so we took him off and wrapped him in cotton wool and hopefully we will be all right next week against Toulouse.” 

Kear admitted that confirming their place in the play-offs is another box ticked ahead of their match against the table-toppers on Sunday at Dewsbury. 

He said of reaching beyond the regular season: “That was the season goal, so that can be ticked off, and now we have to decide where we finish within the play-offs, and obviously the higher the better. 

“It is not a matter of avoiding teams, it is about achievement. 

“We can keep our foot down and look forward to a real tough game against the competition’s best side at Dewsbury.” 

Defeating York at the impressive LNER Community Stadium was one of those pleasing occasions when all of the Bulls players contributed, and Kear confessed: “We are looking pretty good at the minute, we are in a good place and it was a great reaction to last week’s disappointment – although we won that we didn’t feel that we played well. 

“Here we have won and played very well also. The only time we looked under the cosh was when they had nine sets to our four 10 minutes after half-time, but once the possession evened itself out, we had a comfortable and accomplished victory. 

“The processes that we went through were executed very, very well indeed and you are speaking to a very happy coach. 

“When you win at a place like this against a team like this then that is what sport is all about and everyone has contributed, and that is why it is so satisfying.” 

The only negatives were the injury to winger Matty Dawson-Jones and how the Bulls let York back into the match immediately after scoring. 

Kear revealed: “It looks like Matty Dawson-Jones has broken his thumb and he just can’t get on the field can’t the kid and it is just bad luck. You don’t plan for wingers going down but he went down. 

“I thought that Rhys did well being pushed onto the wing, I thought that Aaron Murphy did well going into the centres and Sam Hallas did well going into the second row, so they have all played tremendously well out of position and everyone has done their job to a very good degree. 

“But the big learning point from this match is that we have to be a bit more conservative when we have scored because twice we scored and gave the ball away and York came back so we have to be a bit more clinical and ruthless, but apart from that we have all contributed.” 

As for York’s new ground, Kear said: “It is a fantastic venue and I just wished that it had been available for everyone (the capacity was capped at 4,000), and it is a great playing surface and we enjoyed playing in that atmosphere.”