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Batley Bulldogs v Halifax Preview

Both sides were in Challenge Cup action last weekend but neither progressed to the next round as Super League teams triumphed. Who will get back on track this week?

Last Time Out

Batley played host to French outfit Catalans Dragons at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. The game was live on Sky Sports and John Kear’s men did compete but the Dragons just proved too strong as they triumphed 40-4. Catalans were only 12-0 up at the break after tries from Fouad Yaha and Vincent Duport. In the second half Duport, Richie Myler and Tony Gigot all touched down before Batley got on the scoresheet themselves. Winger Alex Brown managed to cross the whitewash to get the Bulldogs on the board for the tie. However, the final try went the way of the visitors courtesy of Gigot.

Halifax gave Widnes a run for their money but the latter came out on top 28-18 at The Shay. Widnes’ Aaron Heremaia and Halifax’s James Saltonstall exchanged scores in the early going as both sides traded blows before the Vikings scored two tries on the bounce thanks to Lloyd White and Chris Houston. However, just before the half-time hooter, Adam Robinson cut the deficit for Halifax and after Tyrer’s conversion the score read 18-12 to the visitors. The match was all tied up at 18 apiece when Miles Greenwood’s 46th minute try was converted by Tyrer. Two tries in the final quarter from Denis Betts’ Widnes side made sure that there was no cup upset suffered. Charly Runciman and Jay Chapelhow scored the decisive tries as Halifax were denied a place in the quarter finals of the prestigious competition.

Key Battle

Halifax’s back row against Widnes were all ex-Bulldogs. Ben Heaton and Jacob Fairbank were at the Batley club during 2014 on loan and on dual registration respectively while Dane Manning had a good few years as a permanent Bulldog. All three players are talented in their own right and they will be wanting to come away from the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium with a victory on Sunday. Meanwhile, for Batley, they started with James Brown, Joe Chandler and James Harrison in the back-row. Brown and Chandler have been two of the more consistent players for the Bulldogs this year while Harrison has played limited matches but may well be getting more game time in the future.

Prediction

A very tough game to call as there’s a lot on the line for both sides. Halifax are in fifth and Batley are one place, and one point, behind them. With the top four still well in sight, every game is as important as the next and this one will be fiercely contested – Batley by 10

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