Kear left 'fuming' as Bulldogs slip outside top four

BATLEY boss John Kear launched a furious tirade after a late Kurt Haggerty drop-goal gave Bradford a vital 17-16 victory to climb to third place in the Championship while edging the Bulldogs out of the top four.

Kear was incensed that the try which brought Bradford level was allowed to stand.

The Bulls trailed 16-12 with 13 minutes remaining when Lewis Charnock’s kick in-goal was chased by Epalahame Lauaki who, combined with the rain, caused Dominic Brambani to slip and lose the ball.

Jay Pitts was quick to pounce but Kear fumed: “He (Brambani) grounded the ball and that is the top and bottom of it.

“It was a really competitive game which the rain spoilt and when it came Bradford looked after the ball better, which is credit to them.

“We haven’t helped ourselves but I’m adamant that had there been a video here the try, the turning point, would have been a drop-out from under the posts.

“I thought we played well with two outstanding tries in the dry in the first half but my reflection is tainted and Iím a very angry person at the moment.

“I’m gutted. I’m pig sick.”

Bradford, playing their third game in eight days, had new recruits, Australian Kieren Moss and St Helens loanee Charnock, making their home debuts as Rohan Smith continued to rotate his squad within the limitations of a sizeable injury list.

The Bulls, with Haggerty becoming the latest in a long line to fill the half-back role, dominated the opening stages and two James Clare tries  helped carve out an 8-0 lead.

Charnock’s high bomb saw Clare rise and take ahead of Alex Brown before the Bulls winger twisted to score as he came down.

Quick hands from Charnock and Alex Mellor then put Clare in at the corner again.

And shortly afterwards Clare almost claimed his hat-trick two after chasing a Charnock kick.

The introduction of Pat Walker, James Brown and Tom Lillycrop midway through the half began to turn the tide for Batley.

Chris Ulugia set Alex Brown free down the Batley left and former Bulls stand-off Cain Southernwood, who began the move, was up in support to score.

Pat Walker closed the gap to just two points with the conversion.

Some innovative handling then led to Ulugia also scoring against his parent club after a strong dummying run to the line.

Walker attempted a drop-goal as the hooter approached but the Bulldogs went in at half-time in the ascendancy.

The Bulls emerged from the changing rooms with intent but the Bulldogs held firm until a Dominic Brambani 40/20 relieved the pressure.

Walker then extended the lead to four points with a penalty shortly afterwards.

But, as Kear pointed out, the game turned dramatically with Pitts’ try, converted by Haggerty, who then added a penalty.

But Batley weren’t finished and within two minutes they were level again as a Walker dab in-goal squirmed free for Southernwood to dive onto.

But crucially Walker failed with the touchline conversion.

Charnock did miss his chance with a long range drop-goal attempt but Haggerty successfully landed the decisive one-pointer which won the game and denied a Bulldogs side searching for their first win at Odsal in almost 40 years.

Share this post