Bradford Bulls Head Coach John Kear has said it would be “bloody cruel” to send the players that lost their Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Halifax on Sunday, up to Barrow on Wednesday night for their 1895 Cup second-round game.
Bradford lost out to a late James Woodburn-Hall try at Odsal having lead the game three times but Kear and his troops must regroup quickly with plenty of games coming up in a short space of time.
“We’ve come up short when we feel we had a great opportunity,” Kear said.
“That game could have gone either way. I want to congratulate Halifax as they played a really good game.
“We have to attempt to overcome the disappointment and dust ourselves down.
“But the Wednesday team will not feature any of those players who played today; it’s not fair on them.
“If the RFL want to ring me up I’ll give them the reasons.
“If Super League teams can’t play Sunday and then the Thursday – which I believe is an unwritten rule – I don’t see why I should subject my players, many of whom are part-time, to playing Sunday and Wednesday, especially when the Wednesday is a trip up to Barrow.
“It’s bloody cruel, basically.”
Perhaps the lowest point on Sunday afternoon for the home side was losing young halfback Rowan Milnes, who scored the first try for Bradford in the game, to a leg break.
“Losing Rowan affected us,” Kear continued.
“He’s got a great kicking game and we lost some edge with that in the second half.”
“He’s in hospital and has had an X-ray. He broke his fibula.
“In all honesty that’s the saddest thing to come out of this: A 19-year-old kid making your way in the game that’s the last thing you want.
“But he’s copped it and it could be anything from six to 12 weeks.”