CARL FORSTER didn’t feel his battling North Wales Crusaders side deserved to be on the end of a 48-2 scoreline during their Challenge Cup trip to Bradford Bulls.

The Crusaders were competitive for much of the encounter, but they just ran out of steam in the closing stages, which allowed the Championship hosts to grab four late tries.

“Obviously, it was a real tough day at the office,” said Forster reflecting on the tie.

“But my main disappointment was the scoreline.

“The lads didn’t deserve it. The last four tries, they ran in the last 10 minutes. The boys didn’t deserve that scoreline.”

Crusaders were well in the contest at half-time and they only trailed 18-2 at the midway point.

The visitors did cross the line after six minutes, but the referee deemed the ball had been held up, while the Bulls spilled the ball when they went close to the first try.

The first points went the way of the Crusaders in the 16th minute when Owain Abel slotted over a penalty.

However, Bradford managed to turn things around prior to the break.

They took the lead when Eribe Doro burst through for the opening try in the 22nd minute.

Jordan Lilley added the extras, before Joe Arundel made the most of a gap for his side’s second try after half-an-hour.

This was once more converted by Lilley, who also added the extras to Aidan McGowan’s try two minutes shy of half-time.

Crusaders did have their chances, though, and Forster added: “Our biggest fault was probably not taking our chances early.

“We should have been 14-0 up. We could have scored three tries, certainly in that first half.

“I’m not going to sit here and be too down-hearted. In the first 25 minutes, they were worried.”

Keven Appo grabbed Bradford’s next try after Crusaders were down to 12 men with a sin-binning.

Chester Butler, George Flanagan (2) and Kieran Gill grabbed the remaining scores, while Lilley completed a good day’s work with eight conversions out of eight.

From the point of view of Bulls’ coach Eamon O’Carroll, he was pleased to come through the test with the victory - and without conceding a try.

He said: “Defensively, I thought we were good. They’re a dangerous team. They threw the ball about.

“They challenged us a lot, especially on last play and we were attentive and we stopped some tries there. So, that’s a huge positive for me.”

Crusaders are back in action on Sunday and they’re preparing for more Championship opposition.

Forster’s side will welcome Widnes Vikings in the 1895 Cup.

Crusaders opened their cup campaign with a 40-12 loss to Salford last month.

Huddersfield have signed England international and former NRL winner Tom Burgess on a three-year deal from the start of the 2025 campaign.

The 31-year-old forward has made more than 200 appearances for South Sydney Rabbitohs since 2013, winning the title and featuring in his side’s World Club Challenge triumph over St Helens in 2015.