Jordan Lilley hailed Bradford Bulls’ young stars after Sunday’s 26-16 victory over Halifax in the Yorkshire Cup.
Oliver Wilson, Josh Rickett and Matty Storton – all products of Bradford’s thriving academy – were involved in the victory and Lilley, only 22 himself, says their performances can only be good for the squad.
“I thought that was a really good performance, considering we’re still early in pre-season,” said Lilley of the victory.
“Some of the things that we’ve been practising during pre-season have come together.
“There were some outstanding performances from some of our young kids. Olly Wilson in the middle, Matty Storton on the edge and Josh Rickett on the wing were all outstanding for us.
“We’ve got some really good kids coming through and they’re pushing some of the older players for their places in the team.
“It come together well for us and we threw some good stuff at them. They’re an established top four side and if we can compete with them throughout the season like we did today, we won’t go far wrong.
“They’re a really tough out-fit and at 26-6, they still found a way to come back into the game and score a couple of tries. They were down a man as well in that second half but they kept on coming at us.”
Bulls’ coach John Kear made 12 changes to the starting 13 from the Boxing Day win over York, with Lilley describing their strength in depth as ‘scary’.
“We’ve still got a lot of key players that are to come back into the side, which is scary,” Kear added.
“You’ve got our captain Steve Crossley and Ross Peltier to come back into the pack. When we get everybody back in the pack, it’ll be really exciting. I can’t wait to play in front of that pack.”
“It’s hard for a half-back to shine when you’re playing off slow rucks. We’ve got a really strong squad this year and I believe that we can compete for those top-five play-off spots this year.”