Bradford have laid down a marker of top five intent, says John Kear

Bradford head coach John Kear believes that his side have laid down a marker after overcoming top five rivals Halifax during Sunday’s pre-season match.

Bradford triumphed 26-16 against Halifax with George Flanagan twice scoring off the bench and further efforts coming from Ethan Ryan, Elliot Minchella and Ross Oakes.

Returning to the Championship after winning immediate promotion from League 1 last season, Kear insisted that the Bulls have their eyes firmly set on the play-offs in 2019.

“I’m delighted with the performance as Halifax have been a top four side for three of the last four years,” Kear said.

“We wanted to put down a marker today to say we’re going to be up there competing for those play-off spots and I thought the players did just that today.

“I think our young players who have only recently joined the first-team group were excellent today. Alix Stephenson, Josh Rickett and Oliver Wilson were all tremendous. Matty Storton as well, he was just unbelievable with his carrying game.

“I’m delighted with the group and the team, but I’m really pleased with the young players in particular who are putting so much pressure on the more established players in our squad. I think that’s shown in our performances.

“I think it was an eight of ten performance today so there’s still things that we can improve upon, for sure. We’ve got plenty of players still to bring in, so I’m looking forward to that. We’ve certainly got something out of the game today, having played really well against an elite Championship team.

“Obviously, we want to win the Yorkshire Cup, but ultimately our priority is to beat Featherstone on February 3.

“There’s an air of positivity around the place at the moment. Just looking around the place and having over 3,000 fans here today (3,341), is great. It indicates the potential within this club. There’s a real excitement around this place and I’m excited about it. This has whetted my appetite even more.”