BRADFORD Bulls head coach John Kear has lauded skipper Steve Crossley, admitting his presence is sorely missed when he is not there.

He was forced to self-isolate, and was therefore absent for the ugly win over Swinton a fortnight ago, but led from the front in the excellent victory at York last weekend.

And Kear mused: “We miss him when he’s not there, not just for what he brings on the field, but his presence off it too.

“He’s a good leader, not just because of how he plays, but the way he prepares himself for games.

“We missed him against Swinton, and the performance reflected that, whereas I think you can put the turnaround against York in part down to Steve.

“We also benefitted from a certain Danny Brough being back in the side of course.”

Brough and Crossley both put in good performances, but the standout was probably Rhys Evans, who helped himself to a hat-trick.

He is not normally a prolific scorer, but an unconcerned Kear said: “Rhys is very consistent in how he plays, and I think he’s the best defensive centre in the division.

“But the biggest compliment I can give him, and Aaron Murphy and Sam Hallas, was that all three were out of position at York because of Matty Dawson-Jones going off with a broken thumb, yet you’d never have known watching the game.”

Bulls host Toulouse this weekend, but the game is in Dewsbury rather than Bradford, due to Odsal holding a dance festival.

Kear said: “It’s not as big a lurch as it would have been in the past, as we got used to playing at Dewsbury.

“We’d have preferred to be at Odsal, but we’ve just got to shrug our shoulders and get on with it.”