Batley to use Catalans confidence against Halifax

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear feels his team played well in their Challenge Cup defeat to Catalans Dragons last week.

Although the Bulldogs lost 40-4, Kear felt that his men showed real skill and courage in standing up to the French outfit on live TV.

He is hopeful that his team can take that spirit into their weekend fixture with Halifax.

“We took a lot of confidence from the game,” he said.

“In the first half I thought we stood up wonderfully to them. Their physicality obviously took its toll in the second half, they dominated possession and field position and that’s the reason the scoreline blew out as it did.

“We’ve identified areas we need to improve on, and that was one of the main focuses at training.

“It’s a tough game this week. I’ve watched Halifax against Workington and against Widnes and there’s been two very contrasting performances.

“They really did step up to the plate against a Super League side and it was a very, very good performance. We know full well they can be even stronger.”

Wing Shaun Ainscough and centre Shaun Squires should be available for the Bulldogs.

Halifax lost 28-18 to Widnes Vikings in the Challenge Cup in a tough contest. Coach Richard Marshall felt his team played well.

“We performed very well and I thought we were unlucky to be on the losing side. I really thought we were the better team,” he said.

“I thought we defended very well for large periods of the game and put Widnes under immense amounts of pressure. It was a really warm day and we just couldn’t sustain it and they pulled away towards the end but I was well proud of our efforts.

“Batley are a strong team and are up near the top of the table, and they deserve to be there. They gave us a very good game when we played them in March at the Shay. It was a tight game and we came out on top. I think we’ve improved since then and certainly after last week I think we’ve got a bit more confidence about what we’re doing.

“It will be a tough one going to Mount Pleasant. I’ve got a lot of respect for John Kear, he gets teams up and this will be one that they’ll be targeting as a must-win.”

Prop Luke Ambler and half-back Gareth Moore are set to return for Fax. Matt Sarsfield, who is on loan from Salford, will also be available.

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