BRADFORD Bulls head coach Eamon O’Carroll admitted yesterday evening’s bruising 12-12 draw away to fellow Betfred Championship high-flyers Toulouse “felt like a win”.

The pair remain joint-third in the table after a titanic tied tussle in France, which saw Jayden Okunbor play a chunk of the game with an injured hamstring and Eribe Doro doing the same with a suspected broken rib.

The only points Bulls even conceded against their in-form French hosts came when they had a man in the sin-bin, with both Jorge Taufua and Doro seeing yellow during the game.

O’Carroll could not hide his pride in the team at full-time, telling the T&A: “I’m really happy, especially with the amount of disruption in the game due to injuries and the fact we had 12 men for 20 minutes at a place like this where it’s so hard to get a result.

“The team put in such a big shift and while I’d have loved to have won, I’m proud of how we handled the game and the pressure we were under at times.”

Put to O’Carroll that Bulls probably would have won without those poor tackles and subsequent sin-binnings for Taufua and Doro, he said: “Look, we’ll never know what the result would have been without those two yellows.

“We were disappointed to lose the two of them, and it did cost us points, but as I say, I’m so proud of the shift everyone put in to get this result.”

And Bulls’ 12 points at the other end came courtesy of two gloriously-worked tries in the 10 minutes before the break, courtesy of Zac Fulton, then Max Lehmann.

O’Carroll beamed, albeit coyly: “One of those tries was planned on the training ground and it came off.”

But it was grit and determination, more than flair, that really characterised Bulls’ performance.

O’Carroll said: “I know I’ll get that from my team because they’re so supportive of each other.

“There are tough individuals in our squad so nothing surprised me on that front here.

“Ok (Okunbor) pulled his hamstring in the first half and only eventually came off 15 minutes after the break when he couldn’t run any more.

“We believe Eribe’s popped a rib but he played through that, others had cuts to the head like John Davies and Ebon Scurr, Jordan (Baldwinson) couldn’t come back on after his early injury and Zac’s struggling with something too.

Zac Fulton has now scored home and away against Toulouse this season, but Eamon O'Carroll will be hoping yesterday did not come at a cost for the prolific Aussie.Zac Fulton has now scored home and away against Toulouse this season, but Eamon O'Carroll will be hoping yesterday did not come at a cost for the prolific Aussie. (Image: Tom Pearson.)

“Yet not one of those players looked up at the stands, asking me to take them off.

“There’s definitely an element of concern around the injuries we picked up in the game, but I’ll need a report off my staff and the players to be assessed before we know more.”

Summing a breathless night up, O’Carroll said: “There are things the boys could have done better and we’ll be hard on ourselves in our review as usual, but it does feel like a win for us.

We definitely want to be challenging anyone we play and we did that here against one of the best sides in the league.

“I love the confidence this group has in themselves and the preparation they put in for games means we really give ourselves a chance to win each one.”