MARK Dunning believes the Bulls have “richly deserved” their long weekend off ahead of the next fixture rush.

The squad will train tonight before returning to Tong on Tuesday to prepare for the first of three away games in a hectic 10-day spell.

The Bulls go to Widnes next Thursday then leaders Featherstone and Sheffield.

Dunning said: “The boys deserved the long weekend for their effort and attention to detail that they’ve given me since I’ve been in the role.

“Anybody who looks at the games closely can see that they have taken things on board.

“In an ideal world, I would have given them (today) off as well but we just can’t afford to do that.

“We’ll train and then we’ll have another session next Tuesday before playing on Thursday.

“Then we’ve got to recover and do some work on Featherstone before the Monday night game.

“It’s another short turnaround after that before we play Sheffield on the Sunday.

“In essence, we’ve got three games in 10 days. The ability to prepare is going to be very limited.

“It’s going to be a case of recover, review and go again.”

Steve Crossley and Ryan Millar both featured for the full game in the reserves against Salford on Sunday. George Flanagan also played an hour.

Interim coach Dunning added: “It was a very useful exercise. We got 80 minutes into the skipper and Ryan Millar and George did about 60 as well.

“I know the young blokes really appreciated the senior ones being in and around them. That will have rubbed off on them.

“It epitomises all three of them as individuals and what we’ve started to create around the club with the team first ethos. It’s side before self.

“It’s really buying into the fact that this club is bigger than any one individual. We’ve all got a responsibility to leave the shirt or the seat that we sit in better than how we found it.”