BRADFORD Bulls coach Eamon O’Carroll admitted that his team got the fundamentals wrong in their 26-12 Betfred Challenge Cup defeat to Widnes Vikings at Odsal yesterday.

After their first competitive defeat under O’Carroll, he confessed that they didn’t run hard enough with support, lacked consistency in the ruck, gave away too many penalties and did not make enough impact off the bench.

He said: “It is really disappointing not to go as far as we could in this competition and it is our first loss as a group, but we are fully aware of the reasons why we lost that game.

“We got the fundamentals completely wrong as a group, we missed it big time, Widnes capitalised on it and it is a good lesson for us.

“The fundamentals were running hard with support and doing the things that we have done well over the past couple of weeks.

“I have said to the players that I don’t think that I have seen them lack as much intent in those areas, and then there was the ruck. We didn’t defend full sets. We would do it well for two or three tackles and then get a bit loose and a little bit sloppy and invite Widnes to win the rucks, but fair play to them. They executed well.”

O’Carroll added: “Discipline certainly hurt us. I thought that we had addressed that at half-time and then we gave three penalties away on the bounce, and you are pulling your hair out at that stage, but we must learn and learn quickly as we have a cup quarter-final next weekend (at home to Swinton Lions in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup).

“We have so much potential as a group and I trust this group. It is not a lack of discipline in terms of wanting to belt people around the head. It is individual concentration for the full 80 minutes.

“I said to them in the changing rooms ‘We are going to have to do something about this’ (the high penalty count), but we are a new group.

“It has hurt us but we have probably got away with this before. Our discipline hasn’t been great in those games but we have got other areas of the game right, and here we got both wrong.

“I will look at the video. We had a good plan and got two tries from kicks but Widnes will challenge you with the ball, and for a couple of their tries it looked as if they had more bodies on the field, which is disappointing.

“Tom Gilmore is smart and if you put numbers on him he will hurt you with a kick. At half-time we were OK, we were two points down and we hadn’t been in that position before, but let’s see how we respond, but we coughed up too many penalties and then we broke and they didn’t.

“We will have to address that and it is hugely disappointing that we gave away two penalties that resulted in a try for Lloyd Roby, which is not acceptable, and we have all have to be better, and I include myself in that.

“We have lost our first game, and that hurts bad but what we have to do is stick together and learn, otherwise we will be in the same position next week.

“It is also a bit frustrating that we didn’t score when they were twice down to 12 men. You don’t necessarily have to score in those 10-minute periods. You just have to back yourselves to keep doing what you are doing and you will get them at the back end of the game, but we didn’t do it enough in those periods.”