Batley face tough play-off ask

Halifax RLFC must finish the regular Co-operative Championship season without Sam Barlow after the RFL Disciplinary Committee suspended him for two matches.

Barlow was found guilty of running in and punching during Halifax’s recent fixture against Widnes.

It means coach Matt Calland must make at least one change to the team that won 38-24 at Sheffield last week.

Calland said: “We were never in any danger of losing, but we want to win in better style. Once we get in front, we’ve got to be ruthless and finish teams off. Our game sense is poor at times.

“We get a little bit too excited when we get in front and we want to score again and again. It can be a good thing if it comes off, but if it doesn’t then it can put your defence under a lot of pressure.”

Paul Handforth (dead leg) remains Batley Bulldogs’ biggest concern as they battle to keep alive their play-off hopes.

Bulldogs coach Karl Harrison said: “We’re in a deep hole but we’re still fighting and scratching. We’ve got Halifax away and then Whitehaven away.

“Realistically we need to win both of our remaining games and hope other teams do us favours against Widnes.”

However, Harrison was pleased with his side’s effort in their 34-26 defeat against Featherstone last week.

He said: “I think we probably edged it, but the result doesn’t show that.

“The guys tried their best and played really well, but it wasn’t our day.”

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