Batley aiming to stop in-form ‘Fax

Batley aiming to stop in-form ‘Fax

BATLEY will have to beat the most in-form team in the Kingstone Press Championship if they are to build on last week’s morale-boosting victory.

The Bulldogs defeated bottom club Doncaster at the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium but will find things tougher when they travel to face Halifax at The Shay on Sunday (3pm).

‘Fax will be looking to make it seven wins in a row when they they face John Kear’s men, and the Batley boss says his side are ready for the challenge.

“I watched them (Halifax) at the summer bash when I was working for Sky and I watched them recently against Sheffield and they are playing very well,” said Kear.

“They’re a free-flowing team and like to play in the dry weather. But we’re brimming with confidence and the squad will go there prepared and I’m certain we can cause them problems, but they will pose many problems for us also.”

Richard Marshall’s team currently sit in the coverted fourth position, ahead of Featherstone on points difference.

In the reverse fixture back in March, only four points could separate the two sides, as Batley were edged out 6-2 at the Mount.

The ‘Dogs have only registered five wins this season, with the latest coming against luckless Doncaster.

“With no disrespect to Doncaster, it was not the best opposition we have faced this season but we did everything we prepared to do in training that week,” said Kear.

“First half we were going uphill and we defended with some resolve and we played some clever rugby.

“It was a true indication of how the players can play with the ball in hand, it was pleasing to see five of our tries come from the outside backs.

“We picked up a couple of injuries, but that’s what you get coming up to this time of the season and players at all clubs are playing with a few bumps and bruises and a few niggles and jabs,” he added.

Kear will be without the versatile Shaun Ainscough who will miss the game against Halifax through suspension.

The former Bradford and Wigan man submitted an early guilty plea after being sent off in the game against the Bulls for using foul language towards a match official, while fellow back Alex Brown will also miss the clash.

“As part of the loan agreement Alex is unavailable to play against his parent club but we are hoping we can have James Craven back and that will be one solution but we will assess our options in training,” said Kear.

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