Batley Bulldogs v Halifax preview

John Kear has acknowledged that his Batley side overcame a challenge last week in their win over Hunslet Hawks.

“It was a tough game against a good team in very difficult playing conditions,” he said.

The Bulldogs came back from 14-8 down at half-time to win the game 26-14, and Kear hailed his players on that achievement: “I was delighted that our team stayed composed and ended up on the right side of the ledger.”

When asked about his team’s next opponents, Halifax, the former Super League coach had good things to say about their first two matches.

He said: “They put Whitehaven to the sword in round one and were very, very competitive against Leigh on a quagmire of a pitch,” 

“We’ve got to be confident in our abilities but also got to acknowledge that they’re a very good team that will get better round by round as the season goes on.” 

Prop Keegan Hirst is in contention for selection for Batley this weekend.

After their loss in round two against Leigh, Halifax coach Richard Marshall thinks that his team have created a lot of positives despite the defeat. 

“It was a good game for our players to be involved in, a good atmosphere and a good crowd,” he said.

“The pitch wasn’t the best to play rugby on but we’ve got quite a lot out of it, certainly defensively.” 

Marshall, similarly to Kear, had a lot of good things to say about his team’s round three counterparts.

“Batley are the best team in the competition at the moment so it will be a good game for us,” said the former England Academy boss.

“They are a good team at home, obviously they’ll play the slope and the conditions – something we’ll have to combat but we’re looking forward to it.”

Scott Murrell is a doubt for the match with a groin injury but former Batley dual-registration player, Jacob Fairbank, is available for selection. 

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