JOHN Kear insists the Bulls were right to go ahead with facing leaders Toulouse despite getting a tonking.

The 60-6 loss at Dewsbury yesterday was their heaviest loss of the Championship campaign – beating the 50 they conceded to Sheffield Eagles on the opening day.

But they remain in fourth after third-placed Halifax went down 54-22 at Featherstone and Batley slipped up at home to Whitehaven.

With two games left in the regular season, the target of a home start in the play-offs is still in their hands.

The Bulls could have asked the RFL to call off their game because of the number of players unavailable.

But Kear was adamant that never crossed their mind – and felt it was the correct decision to play.

He said: “They’ve beaten us fair and square and we’ve just got to cop it.

“But I’d sooner that happen than us to use protocols and tactical postponements to try and avoid playing them.

“If you’re in the competition, you have to play everybody. That’s only the right thing to do.

“We’ve turned up and they’ve been too good for us and they rightly go away with the points.”

The Bulls are still unhappy that Sheffield refused to agree a date to rearrange last month’s Odsal game that was called off late after the Eagles cited Covid issues.

But they had no intention of following suit to avoid becoming the latest victims of the all-conquering French side and protect their league position.

Kear added: “Batley played Featherstone the other week and they could have used a tactical postponement. They didn’t and fronted up.

“I know Simon Grix feels very similar at Halifax.

“Yes, we’re in competition and it’s a healthy competition but there’s also a great deal of respect because of what they are doing for rugby league.

“They are respecting the game and I admire anybody who does that.

“We’ve got away with one there (with the other results). It’s a bit of good fortune and we’ll attempt to take advantage of that.

“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves. We’ve tried hard enough but we weren’t very good at work last week and we need to be better.

“All that matters is the 80 minutes on a Sunday and we underperformed.”

Elliot Kear’s arrival comes as a timely boost this week and the Bulls coach is looking forward to adding the Wales international, who has just qualified as a firefighter.

He said: “Just look how many games Elliot has played and who he’s played for and the things he’s won. It’s as easy as that.

“He’s very good for us but at the minute I’m with these players.

“We’ve had our backsides kicked and feel a bit sore and sorry for ourselves.

"So, we’ve got to dust ourselves down, review it and then start looking forward to the specifics of Widnes.

"Toulouse average 40-odd points and only concede eight. Defensively they are very good.

"That’s something we’ll all have to have a really good look at if we come up against that mob in the play-offs.

"How we can vary things to generate some ruck speed?

"When they do that, the skill level is fantastic with Tony Gigot and (Johnathon) Ford. The pass selection is superb and execution.

"They have got people outside who are pretty dangerous as well and a tough middle unit. They are a very good rugby league team."

The Bulls are waiting to find out the full extent of Brandon Pickersgill’s injury after the full back had to be stretchered off and was taken to hospital. There are also other knocks being looked at.

“They are all concerning but when you’ve had a bump or a bruise, you need 24-48 hours for it to all settle down,” said Kear.

“It’s all about ice and elevation and then the treatment to try and get them on the field for next week.”