Buoyant Bulldogs could soon go top

Batley boss Karl Harrison claims his side are far from the finished article despite a tremendous victory over inform Halifax last Sunday.

The Bulldogs fought back to claim their fifth straight win with two tries in the last four minutes to keep up the pressure on league leaders Leigh, who were docked three points last week for a technical breach of the salary cap.

Harrison believes his side are very capable of taking the Cooperative Championship title and although work is needed, he admitted the delight he took from the win at The Shay.

He said: “Halifax are the champions, they are in the Northern Rail Cup final and are a quality team so that shows we have something a little bit special this season.

“We made it tough for ourselves but showed plenty of togetherness and the performance makes me very proud.

“I was pleased with the level of resolve we showed to come back and I think any win, away from home, is a good win.

“We’ve been saying since January that we can compete for this title . However we’re far from the finished article and I think there’s still lots that we can improve on. 

“The biggest thing for me is game awareness. I want us to be more clinical going forward and in defence and I’d like to see us learn how to close games down better.

“Against Halifax we panicked a little, we dropped a lot of ball and we allowed them the room to try things on us. That doesn’t take anything away from the win however, it just makes things a little more tense in the stands.”

The month of July will provide the Bulldogs with a muchneeded, midseason reality test as they will face Leigh, Featherstone and Widnes in the space of four weeks.

Batley travel to York tonight (Fri) to face a Knights side desperate for league points and that prospect means that complacency is not an option.

Harrison isn’t looking too far ahead and despite the challenging fixture list his focus remains very much on tonight’s clash.

A win could see Batley Bulldogs go top.

“York will be a difficult task, the pitch is narrow and it doesn’t suit our style,” added the former Salford coach.

“They’ve improved dramatically and let’s not forget they are fighting for their lives too.

“Two go down from this division and they sure won’t want to be one of them.”

“We have to keep our feet firmly on the ground. There are some tough games coming up this month and we want to be peaking by the end of the season.”

Harrison is set to recall front rowers Dave Tootill and Mark Toohey to the squad for tonight’s match in a bid to get them up to match fitness’ ahead of their playoff campaign.

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