Batley leading the way

CHAMPIONSHIP leaders Batley Bulldogs face their toughest test of the season so far when they host Bradford Bulls at Mount Pleasant this Sunday.

Batley play the unbeaten Bulls and despite the Bulldogs’ strong start to the new campaign, with wins over three of last season’s middle eight qualifiers, they will once again be firm underdogs in this fixture.

“Being top of the table this week has been great and it was a nice reward for the effort my players have put in so far this season,” said coach John Kear.

“We’ve got to where we are by being underdogs in all but one game so far, so being outsiders against Bradford won’t be an issue for us, we’ll relish the chance to cause another upset.”

Bradford will be fresh after their match against Oldham was called off last weekend due to the snow.

Batley, meanwhile, extended their good run of form with a dominant win over Workington Town.

“We’ve become the media darlings as a result of our good form, but in order to keep up that form we have a lot of improving still to do,” insists Kear.

“We must keep evolving if we are to achieve something special, which will be a tough ask because I’ve never seen a team play a perfect game of rugby but that is what we’re striving to achieve.

“I expect there to be a high turnout for the Bulls clash because we’re playing some very good rugby at the moment, but I’m sure the guys will cope well with the occasion.”

Kear’s only new injury worries are winger Wayne Reittie, who required stitches to a cut lip, and Alex Bretherton who also need stitches on a head wound.

Joe Chandler has been cleared to play having suffered concussion against Halifax.

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