Southernwood out as Leatherbarrow returns for Bulldogs

AS PLAYERS return for Batley Bulldogs yet another has been ruled out, with Cain Southernwood the latest to be sidelined.

The half-back was taken off with an ankle injury in Batley’s heavy defeat to Leigh and will miss this weekend’s clash against Whitehaven at Mount Pleasant (Sun, 3pm).

Bulldogs coach John Kear confirmed Southernwood was awaiting the results of a scan, to measure the extent of his injury.

“He won’t feature in the near future,” Kear said.

Better news for the ‘Dogs is that scrum-half Scott Leatherbarrow is set to return against the Cumbria outfit.

“I didn’t want him coming back and replacing Cain but he’ll go through training and should come into the side for the weekend,” Kear added.

Batley have only managed to pick-up three wins this season, as their squad continues to be hampered by injury.

Free-scoring Johnny Campbell, centre Ayden Faal and James Craven are all out. However full-back Craven could return to the side for Sunday’s game.

Whitehaven make the trip to West Yorkshire with James Coyle’s side sitting 11th in the Championship table.

‘Haven have only picked  up two wins so far, with victories at home to Doncaster and London Broncos.

But Kear says his team are still wary of their opponents.

“It’s going to be a tough contest, they are an improving side,” he said.

“Look at the game against Featherstone, they were winning at half-time. We know it’s going to be hard.

“Whitehaven have made full use of the loan and the dual-registration system.

“They’ve got two players from Leigh, a lad from Wigan in the centres and a player from Widnes at nine.”

In last week’s defeat to the Rovers, Whitehaven’s line-up included Jonny Walker (Leigh), Grant Gore (Widnes) and Wales international Rhodri Lloyd (Wigan).

The visitors will come to Batley full of confidence, as they have beaten the ‘Dogs in their last three encounters.

The Bulldogs will hoping to get back to winning ways at the Mount after they became the latest team to suffer defeat at the hands of the Leigh Centurions.

Kear side went down 56-8 at Leigh Sports Village, and the Batley boss said: “It quite simply wasn’t good enough.

“We got walloped, it’s as simple as that and Leigh demonstrated their ability, as they have all season.”

Despite Shaun Ainscough’s first-half try, Batley were 38-4 down at the interval.

“I told them preparation for next week starts now, do what you can to stop them scoring any more points and simply try and improve,” Kear added. “A positive is that some players stood up as leaders.”

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