Shield's the aim for Bulldogs

Shield's the aim for Bulldogs

Batley Bulldogs cannot afford to take their foot off the gas in their quest for the Championship Shield, says assistant coach Danny Maun.

Despite smashing Swinton Lions 62-10 last Sunday, Maun insists the Bulldogs must continue to improve, starting with the game against Rochdale this weekend.

“I think our performance against Swinton showed that everything is starting to fall into place for the players and they are finally understanding what Matt (Diskin) is wanting from them,” said Maun.

“The players are realising what benefits them and completing their sets definitely helped us in the second half.

“Everything stuck for us in the second half and the players were very clinical.

“One disappointing thing for us is that we didn’t play all that well despite scoring all the points, so the key for us this weekend will be playing for the full 80 minutes.

Maun praised several Bulldogs players including Dave Scott, who marked his call-up to Scotland’s provisional World Cup squad with two tries.

“I hope he gets the call up because he has been a stand-out full back for the last two years and for him to get two tries last weekend can do him no harm at all for the World Cup selection,” said Maun.

“Our half-backs controlled the game really well and James Brown and Tom Lillycrop were outstanding for us in the forwards.

“I should also make special mention to Alex Bretherton who could have got a hat-trick, but unselfishly passed the ball to Wayne Reittie.

“All the tries we scored were the result of a team effort,” he said. 

The Bulldogs face a Hornets side coming off the back of a heavy defeat to Dewsbury last weekend, however Maun thinks it could be a different Rochdale side who take to the field this Sunday.

“I don’t think I’ll see Rochdale play as badly as they did against the Rams for a long time, they were poor in all departments,” he said.

“We expect the best Rochdale to come out this weekend and we have to prepare for that and be professional.

“We won’t be looking too much into their performance against Dewsbury, we will go there and be ready for a tough game.

“On their home ground they can play some really good stuff, they have beaten Bradford and Toulouse there this year so we need to prepare really well otherwise we will come unstuck,” said Maun.

“Being consistent and maintaining our concentration levels for the full 80 minutes this weekend will be a big thing for us.”

Second-placed Batley, who currently sit eight points behind leaders Toulouse, have set their sights firmly on lifting the Shield come the end of the competition.

“We are in a good position at the moment, but no-one is relaxing,” said Maun.

“All members of the squad are fully fit which is rare at this time of the year, everyone is raring to go and have trained well this week.

“We have got to take every game as it comes now and go into each game with the view to finish in the best possible position at the end of the season.

“The Shield is our goal and if we keep going the way we have been then I don’t think we will be that far off,” he said.

• The Bulldogs’ holiday camps are being held again over the summer holidays every Thursday and Friday until September 1. 

Activities run from 8am to 3pm, including breakfast club at a cost of £25 per two days. 

Booking is essential – contact Jon Humpleby from the Bulldogs Community Team on 07808 055022.

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