Swinton Lions play host to Batley Bulldogs, who only need a draw to confirm their spot in the Qualifiers. Swinton were beaten by Dewsbury Rams last weekend while Batley bounced back from their loss to Featherstone Rovers in round 21 by getting the better of London Broncos.
Last Time Out
Swinton Lions lost 34-16 at the hands of Dewsbury Rams on Sunday afternoon. The Rams flew out of the blocks as they scored three tries in the opening stages. Lucas Walshaw, Dale Morton and Matt Groat were the try-scorers prior to Swinton getting on the scoresheet through Liam Marshall. Both sides had a man sent to the sin-bin soon after. Jason Crookes and Stuart Littler were the players who went for a ten minute breather. Andy Kain and Rhodri Lloyd swapped scores for both sides in the latter stages before Paul Sykes ended the half with a penalty goal to put Dewsbury 24-10 up. Marshall doubled his tally for the Lions after the restart but Dewsbury had no problems seeing out the win, with tries coming from Tony Tonks and Sykes in the final quarter.
Batley Bulldogs moved to within one point of the middle eights as they conquered London Broncos 31-20 at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. Elliot Kear broke the deadlock for London before a brace from Shaun Ainscough and a lone score courtesy of Shaun Squires put the Bulldogs 14-4 up at the break. London centre Ben Hellwell cut the deficit with the first try of the second half prior to Wayne Reittie and Dominic Brambani both crossing the whitewash for the West Yorkshire club. Api Pewhairangi and Adam Gledhill exchanged tries for the Broncos and Bulldogs respectively before London prop Mark Offerdhal posted a consolation four pointer. Brambani ended the match with a drop goal.
Stuart Littler and Rhodri Lloyd were the centres for Swinton against Dewsbury at the weekend and they will be tested to the limit once again as they take on Shaun Squires and Chris Ulugia. Squires hasn’t been a regular in the Batley team but he certainly showed his worth against the Broncos. Meanwhile, Chris Ulugia has been a superb acquisition by John Kear. He is currently on loan from Bradford Bulls, and despite a few injuries along the way he has been a big part of the success at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
So, this is it for the Bulldogs! All of their good work will go to waste if they lose to Swinton and Halifax beat London. However, Kear’s men will be favourites going into the game and they will be raring to go on Sunday. Something to take into account is that Batley were defeated by the Lions at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium earlier on in the campaign. A big chance for Swinton to do the ‘double’ – Batley by 12