BULLS full back Tom Holmes believes his side would have lost Saturday’s game at Toulouse had it been played two months ago.

After beating the French side at Odsal in mid-April, straight off the back of victory at Featherstone, Bradford looked on course to be the best of the rest in the Betfred Championship this season behind runaway leaders Wakefield.

But they lost three of their next five, a dreadful away defeat at then-pointless York followed by two badly-mismanaged finales against Widnes and Batley, leaving fans and pundits asking whether this was a side that flattered to deceive.

But Bradford have answered those doubts somewhat with a five-match unbeaten run, including that excellent hard-fought draw against a rampant Toulouse side, achieved despite Jorge Taufua and Eribe Doro both getting yellow cards.

Reflecting on the game, Holmes said: “It helped that it wasn’t too warm, but it was pretty full on out there.

“We know as a group how good we are, and we were aware that Toulouse were one of the in-form teams over the last few weeks, as they hadn’t even conceded a try in their previous three games.

“We knew how tough the game would be and some things didn’t go our way, like playing with 12 men for 20 minutes.

“That’s tough against any opposition, but I thought in those two spells on Saturday we really showed what we’re like as a group, and how we scramble for each other.

“We kept the score tight and then came away with a draw, which we were happy with.”

Holmes, Doro, Taufua, Jordan Lilley, Kieran Gill and Fenton Rogers were the six men who played on Saturday who also featured in Bulls’ heartbreaking play-off semi-final defeat in Toulouse last October.

Despondent duo Tom Holmes and Jordan Lilley after losing the Championship play-off semi-final to Toulouse last October.Despondent duo Tom Holmes and Jordan Lilley after losing the Championship play-off semi-final to Toulouse last October. (Image: Tom Pearson.)

Asked if the positive result at the weekend was cathartic for he and the others, Holmes said: “Yeah it definitely was.

“Not only that, but I reckon two months ago we’d have probably lost that game.

“While we’re still making some errors, you can see how much we work for each other as a team.

In those tight games earlier in the season, even last year, we let ourselves down at times.

“But over the last four weeks we feel like we’ve grown as a group, so these back-to-back games against Toulouse and Wakefield, two of the toughest teams in the competition have probably come at the right time.

“We’d have liked to have won on Saturday, but we faced up to a lot aside from the sin bins, like (Jayden) Okunbor and Baldy (Jordan Baldwinson) going off injured and having to change our right edge around four times.

“I was looking at the clock with about four minutes left and we had to defend two or three sets on the line.

“More than anything, while we wanted to win, by the last few minutes our main priority was trying to stop them scoring a try or a drop goal.

“You could see when they went for a one-pointer, we had several men around them to prevent it and we were all keen not to let it slip.”

Holmes has quickly slipped back into being an integral part of the Bulls line-up, just months after having to undergo cancer treatment.

And he told the T&A: “There haven’t been any setbacks and I’m in a good place.

“I’m still getting monitored but so long as I feel fine every day, I’ll just keep cracking on and doing what I’m doing.”