Bradford Bulls and Batley Bulldogs currently sit fourth and third in the Kingstone Press Championship table respectively heading into this match. With just one point separating the teams, which side will strengthen their bid for the Qualifiers?
Last Time Out
Bradford Bulls made full use of their game in hand as they got the better of Oldham Roughyeds at Bower Fold on Wednesday night. A 48-4 victory will have pleased coach Rohan Smith after his side nearly slipped up last weekend against Workington Town. The Bulls were 20-0 up at the break following four pointers from Alex Mellor, Oscar Thomas, Johnny Campbell and Lewis Charnock. After the break, Bradford added five more tries on the spin before Oldham could reply with a late consolation effort. James Clare bagged a brace while Adam O’Brien, Mitch Clark and Jay Pitts all got on the scoresheet with a try each. Sam Wood was the Roughyeds’ lone try-scorer for the match as he crossed the whitewash with three minutes to spare.
Batley Bulldogs got the better of Sheffield Eagles at SHU Sports Park last Friday. The Bulldogs strengthened their grip on third place in the Kingstone Press Championship with a 24-10 win. John Kear’s men had a 14-6 lead at the halfway stage after tries from Greg Minikin and Keegan Hirst as well as a Pat Walker penalty goal. Quentin Laulu-Togagae scored the Eagles’ only try of the first period. George Tyson brought Sheffield back within touching distance of the West Yorkshire side with a 47th minute try but the Eagles attack didn’t register any more points for the remainder of the clash. Batley sealed the win with a further two tries to their name courtesy of Wayne Reittie and Joe Chandler.
Johnny Campbell made a successful return to action on Wednesday as he came back from injury to score a try for the Bulls in their victory over Oldham. The former Batley man will surely be in contention for a starting spot this Sunday but the short turnaround may tempt Rohan Smith to use his other options. Ethan Ryan also got a try to his name against the Roughyeds. The Bulls academy product has played a few games this year and he will be hoping to get a few more appearances to his name before the end of the regular season. John Kear picked Wayne Reittie and Alex Brown on the wings for the win against Sheffield last Friday, With more resting time and near enough a clean bill of health, the Bulldogs are in good shape heading to the Provident Stadium.
A very tough one to call as both sides come into the game with a decent run of form behind them. Batley have been the more consistent team out of the two as Bradford just can’t seem to string a good amount of victories together without slipping up. However, now the Bulls have returned to the top four and sit just one point behind the Bulldogs, their focus will be on making the Qualifiers and you’d expect the former Super League club to get there – Bradford by 10