Kear admits Batley have lost 'defensive mojo'

BATLEY Bulldogs boss John Kear believes his side’s defeat in the capital to London Broncos last time out was actually the perfect preparation ahead of the Mount Pleasant outfit’s home tie against Featherstone in the Challenge Cup fifth round tomorrow (Saturday, 5pm).

The Bulldogs have suffered back-to-back defeats on the road and are looking to rediscover their early season form against one of their Championship rivals.

In the teams’ previous meeting it was Feathertsone who edged it 14-12 at the Big Fellas Stadium.

“I think Featherstone along with London and Leigh are the best side’s in the league at the moment,” said Kear.

“I’m under no illusions that it will be tough for us to get a result against them but I know my players are up to the task and I’m always confident we can get something out of any game.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to get another win under our belts but we must turn up and play well, we’ll have no second chances, it’s a one-off game in the cup and if we don’t perform that will be the dream over for another year.”

Batley will be without key players for the visit of Jon Sharp’s Rovers, in a match that will be televised live on Sky Sports.

Chris Ulugia and Alex Rowe are still several weeks away from making a return, Sean Hesketh is on dual-registration with Oxford and Sam Scott is out for the season.

“We have a few players out, but we can’t use that as an excuse for our recent performances,” said Kear.

“We’ve lost our mojo in defence and that has been our problem, but we’ve continued to work on it and hopefully we’ll come good again soon.

“We must remain realistic though, if we knew we’d be in this position at the start of the season we’d have been delighted.”

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