Ulugia could be ready for derby clash

JOHN KEAR could have on-loan Bradford Bulls man Chris Ulugia at his disposal for this weekend’s game against Dewsbury Rams on Sunday at the Tetley’s Stadium (3pm).

Ulugia signed for Batley until the end of the season but went off after just 20 minutes in the Bulldogs’ win over Doncaster two weeks ago, and Kear says it is still touch and go to whether the 23-year old will play.

“The results of the scan showed there is shoulder damage and he’ll need an operation at the end of the season but we’ll put him through a rigorous rehab programme,” the Batley boss said.

“He’ll be involved in some contact training, two-on-ones, three-on-ones and we’ll see if he is fit for Sunday.”

The former Parramatta junior can play on the wing or in the centres and was brought to the Mount to cover a number of positions.

“We’ve got players in good form at the moment, none more than Wayne Reittie who suffered a hamstring injury against Hunslet,” Kear said.

“Reittie’s a real doubt. We didn’t get any more injuries as serious as Wayne’s, but I’m hoping everyone will be fine.

“Wayne is very important for us, I think he’s got 14 tries and he hasn’t missed a game all season, so we’ve had a good run with him.

“But if he’s out then there’s a space on the wing that needs filling.”

The ever-present Reittie limped off in Batley’s 45-28 victory over Hunslet last weekend.

Despite there being only four points between the sides at half time, four second-half tries from the ‘Dogs sealed the win for Kear’s side, who this week have had star players Johnny Campbell and Alex Rowe linked with moves to Bradford Bulls for next season.

The latest victory sees the Bulldogs go ninth in the Kingstone Press Championship, and if they win this weekend and other results go their way, they could finish the regular season eighth, which would mean one more home game in the Super 8s.

“It was a big win and the most important thing was the result. We played some good rugby league with the ball in hand but there are areas we still need to improve,” Kear said.

“We were sloppy at times and we missed a few chances and defensively we could of been better but like I say the result was the most important thing.

“What I want to instill is winning rugby, and I thought we had our found our mojo in defence in the games against Doncaster and Halifax, but defensive standards have slipped a little and that’s something we’ll be looking to improve for Sunday’s game with Dewsbury.”

Batley will also be looking to gain revenge over the Rams this Sunday after suffering two defeats to their rivals in the league already this season.

Dewsbury beat the Bulldogs 21-6 at the Mount on Good Friday and also returned from Blackpool with all the spoils after a 19-12 victory at the Summer Bash.

Sunday’s game will be Dewsbury’s third match in the space of a week – but Kear believes that won’t be a factor.

“Sometimes it works in your favour, sometimes it doesn’t. Glenn has got a big squad, he’s not daft, he’s an intelligent person and an intelligent coach and he’ll have a plan to cope with it, but that’s Dewsbury’s problem not ours. We’ve had our three games in a week earlier on in the season and now it’s there’s,” he added.

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