John Kear commended the work of both medical teams after young prop Liam Kirk was briefly knocked out in Bradford’s Boxing Day win at Castleford.

The 22-year-old was helped from the field following a heavy collision and is currently being worked through concussion protocol.

Kear said: “Liam will go through the concussion protocol, which is two days where he’ll do absolutely nothing, before we reassess and look to get him back on the field of play.

“His neck’s OK, he’s physically OK, but he has suffered a concussion, so we have to look after him.

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“He was unconscious for a short period of time following the first impact, so the medics had to get on there.

“I thought the medical teams did an outstanding job getting him off and looking after him.”

Kear’s side were 20-14 winners away at Castleford, who fielded a mix of senior stars and young prospects, and the Bulls boss was particularly cheered by his players’ defensive effort.

“There was one period where they had ten sets to our three and every set was completed, so that’s some defensive work completed.

“Firstly, you have to be very physically fit to do that, you have to have the desire to do that and you have to be organised enough to do that.

“I would say that period of the game, which is strange when you have guys like Sene-Lefao and Matautia running at you, was the most heartening.

“It proved that when Castleford had a top team out on the pitch we were able to handle all their possession and field position.”

Kear was also excited by the potential shown by several of his own young players.

He confirmed: “Some young men have put their hands up and made me think.

“They all impressed me. They rolled their sleeves up and worked hard.

“But the one that perhaps stood out was Ebon Scurr. He really went out there and seemed to enjoy himself.

“But I was pleased with all the young lads.

“They went out there, had a good attitude and applied themselves in the correct manner.

“I’m really happy with what I saw.”

Kear also reserved praise for half-back Rowan Milnes, who will feature for the Bulls on loan terms in 2020 after signing for Hull KR.

“Nothing fazes him to say he’s a young man. I thought he was really good.

“He’s had half the week at Hull KR and half the week with us and he’s trained very well.

“He’s a confident kid and he’ll be confident in what he can do, and that he can run a team at this level.

“I think Hull KR have got a good ‘un, I really do.”

Overall, the Bradford head coach was left pleased by the results of the run-out, noting that his new-look squad is ahead of where he expected it to be in many respects.

“There were a lot of positives to take from it. The game was a great success, the crowd was good and it gets people out of the house after Christmas Day.

“Castleford will feel pleased with achieving what they wanted and I’m certainly delighted with achieving what we wanted.

“I was pleased with our structure, our systems and where we are fitness-wise.

“Both teams played some good football. You sometimes see players heavy legged, but I thought there was some good football played.

“It helped that it didn’t rain, and the pitch stood up well, so it was heartening.

Kear added: “We need to be hard-working when your squad is skinny like ours is and you have to be fit.

“We showed the benefits of a tough seven weeks that we’ve had and I was pleased that we are in advance of where I perhaps thought we’d be.”