Kear unhappy despite Bulldogs victory

Kear unhappy despite Bulldogs victory

JOHN KEAR might not be blessed with hair, but if he was then there would probably only be a few strands left now anyway, as he saw his side come from behind to beat Rochdale Hornets 44-28, writes Matthew Shaw.

Batley may have run out eventual winners, but their consistently inconsistent displays this season have been enough to leave Kear the colour of Batley’s burgundy jersey at times this campaign.

Another error-strewn opening quarter against Rochdale saw them 16-6 down early on, but an eight-try display left them eventual winners.

It still wasn’t enough to entirely satisfy Kear, who ridiculed his side’s clumsy aspects.

“It was a bit like tig and pass and we need to appreciate the basic processes of rugby league more. There was a point that whenever we made a mistake we looked like we couldn’t defend.

“When we got ahead we should have been ruthless but instead we tried too many Hollywood plays.”

The Bulldogs took the lead within three minutes when Alex Bretherton leapt highest to collect Ben Black’s deft kick, Scott Leatherbarrow converting.

However, Batley went through a torrid period as they conceded 16 points in as many minutes.

All three of the Hornets’ tries came through Batley errors who, to their credit, were clinical in their attempts to punish the Bulldogs’ mistakes.

John Davies’s knock-on resulted in John Cookson crashing over from close range, converted by Paul Crook, before a Vinny Finigan fumble culminated in Shaun Robinson racing over in the corner after a flowing move down the left. Crook missed the kick.

In the 20th minute, Leatherbarrow kicked out on the full, and as a result the Hornets scored again when Ryan Millard darted his way to the line. Crook slotted the conversion.

Despite an admirable period of line defence, Ian Talbot’s side eventually cracked nine minutes before the break. Bretherton played his part again, sliding a kick in-goal which was touched down by Josh Griffin. Leatherbarrow pushed the conversion wide.

It was a try that truly took the sting out of the Hornets’ tail and their defence was calamitous thereafter.

From the next set, Anthony Nicholson’s break from deep allowed him to free Miles Greenwood to score before Nicholson scored himself on the half-time hooter to put the hosts in front. Leatherbarrow converted both tries to give Batley a 22-16 lead.

The trend continued into the second half as Batley scored tries at ease.

Keegan Hirst was the first to score after superb work from Bretherton, before Alex Brown went over straight from the restart after Griffin passed to him from the kick-off and he raced home unopposed from 80 yards.

Rochdale hit back through Millard’s second try of the game, but another Greenwood try, as the result of an expansive move down the right, sealed the game for good.

Brown bagged his brace when Griffin released him once more before Rochdale claimed the afternoon’s final try after Wayne English picked up a loose ball on the 40 and strolled home with ease.

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