Kear blasts referee as Batley lose to Sheffield

John Kear gave a scathing assessment of referee Michael Woodhead after Batley were defeated by Sheffield 40-12.

With his side leading 12-0, Kear was left incensed as the official adjudged Wayne Reittie to have knocked on, despite it appearing to be Sheffield winger Scott Turner at fault.

From the following set, Menzie Yere scored the first of his three tries, with Sheffield ultimately going on to win the game comfortably.

Batley’s head coach was left livid with the referee, who gave a staggering 24 penalties in a match few would have described as nasty.

“I’m really hacked off with the performance of the official. A Sheffield player fielded the ball, his feet are on the ground, he drops the ball and he gives Sheffield head and feed.

“He doesn’t know the rules. I don’t question his honesty but I question his ability in understanding the rules.”

Meanwhile, another win on the road for Sheffield moves them a step closer to a top-four spot that appears all but secure at this point.

Head coach Mark Aston was full of praise for in-form centre Yere, who, after becoming the club’s all-time leading try-scorer last Friday with four tries against Hunslet, took his tally to seven tries in a week.

“He’s like a fine wine, the older it gets, the better it becomes,” said Aston.

“He’s been helped by training more and dropping a bit of weight. Age is nothing when you can do what he can do. We’re pleased he’s in our team and not against us, that’s for sure.”

Batley took the early ascendency and held a 12-0 lead following converted tries through Lee Mitchell and Shaun Ainscough.

That lead remained intact until five minutes before the break, when Mr Woodhead gave that controversial call in favour of the Eagles, who went on to score through Yere.

And when the Papua New Guinea international charged over for his second try after busting the line again, with Briggs adding the extras, the half-time lead was down to a mere two points.

In the end, Sheffield were irresistible in the second period and raced in five unanswered tries, with Kyle Briggs in particular punishing the Bulldogs as Sheffield benefited from gifted territory through the 13 penalties Batley conceded.

Sam Smeaton put the visitors in front when he was released by Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s pass before John Davies scored against his former club as Sheffield attacked the blindside.

Yere completed his hat-trick in the 52nd minute, again proving unstoppable from close range after Briggs’ pass, before late tries from Laulu-Togagae and Misi Taulapapa added emphasis to the scoreline, both touching down after neat play from Dominic Brambani.

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