BULLS head coach John Kear was distraught after seeing his side blow a 16-0 lead to lose 36-22 at Odsal against Whitehaven yesterday afternoon in the Championship, admitting the implosion was hard to explain.

The hosts were cruising just before the break, but conceded five tries in 11 minutes either side of half-time, with the Cumbrians charging through the middle at will.

The defeat has cost Bulls a home elimination play-off too, and they will now have to face Batley at Mount Pleasant this coming Saturday.

Kear said: "I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

"I feel really sorry for all the marketing people, who managed to get a great crowd in (on Bulls' community fun day), because if somebody's returned after not seeing Bradford Bulls for a long time, they'll wonder what we're showing up.

"We, as a performance group, have not done ourselves justice."

Some of the tries Bulls conceded, especially the three just after the break, were as a result of abysmal defending.

And Kear blasted: "It's not a structural problem, it's an attitude thing, to just let them through as we did.

"Some of the tries, frankly, were embarrassing."

Ben Evans did at least score twice for Bulls, but Kear said: "I don't want to discuss individuals, because this is a group thing, and I include the coaches, and all the staff in that.

"This is a group thing, and we've got to solve the problems in six days.

"The only way people can measure if we have will be if we go to Batley and play something like we can, because that was nothing like us."

The crowd grew understandably irate as the game wore on, creating a hostile atmosphere at times.

Asked if Bulls might be better off away from that pressure cooker, now their play-off game against Batley is on the road, Kear said: "No, not at all, we wanted to be at home.

"We've failed on that front. Twice we've had opportunities to nail that (against Widnes and Whitehaven) and twice we've failed.

"That's the reality of it."

Kear named the same 17 for both of those defeats, but he warned: "It was easy to identify why we lost at Widnes, but it's not as easy this week, so this one's causing more problems.

"I want players who want to play for this club, and that will be one of the questions I ask them on Tuesday.

"That will be part of the selection process for Batley."