MARK DUNNING was delighted with spells of Bradford’s 36-20 victory over Newcastle Thunder on Saturday evening.

The Bulls scored 24 unanswered points in the first half, and the attacking intent from the home side was there for all to see.

Minus a flurry of second half tries from the visitors, the first period was what effectively won the hosts the fixture- and they did it in style.

Discussing his side’s victory over Newcastle, Dunning said: “I thought we were very good for large spells of the game, I thought our attention to detail was good and we put a strong team to the sword for the majority of the game.

“There was an off spell in the second half where we conceded three tries but overall, it was a positive display.”

Dunning added: “I think if you put the last three games into context and break down the Whitehaven and York games. If you were to put the strong parts of both those games together, then that would be a mirror image of what we saw today (against Newcastle) for the first 55 to 60 minutes.

“It was a very good performance and it was pleasing to see a lot of the things we had worked on being put into practice. But as coaches we are never fully happy and we are always aiming for that little bit better.

“I was pleased that we could put that display on in front of our loud and passionate fans, but next time we will look to put that kind of display on for 80 minutes rather than 60.”

One man who continues to shine for Bradford Bulls is their number nine, Thomas Doyle. The hooker scored a brace of tries in Bulls’ win over Newcastle on Saturday and Dunning was full of praise for the inform man.

He said: “Thomas Doyle is a very confident character. We all know that he can complete 80 minutes at a decent level, but I feel he is most dangerous when the other team is fatiguing, so I tend to give him a spell either side of half time.

“I thought when he came back onto the field against Newcastle, he really steadied us down and got us moving forward again.”

Captain Steve Crossley didn’t make the match day squad for Bradford’s home tie with Newcastle and after the game Dunning confirmed why his captain was absent.

He said: “I took a decision this week to leave Steve out because he has been struggling. We think that he has got long Covid. He had Covid around six weeks ago and ever since then he has struggled with his lung capacity. We’ve done checks on him and there is nothing to worry about, but it’s just a case of having to push through it.

“But he has been a bit frustrated with some of his displays, so I had to make the decision to leave him out to benefit the team, and for the better of Steve himself. I had a good chat with him and he took it on the chin, which just shows what kind of man Steve Crossley is.”