Business as usual for Bulldogs

Batley Bulldogs coach Karl Harrison insists his side will be doing nothing differently in terms of preparation for Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup Final against Widnes Vikings at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool (4.00pm).

“We’ll be doing what we always do and prepare for the game in our normal manner,” said Harrison. “You can’t beat carrying on your own routine if it works and I’ll be keen to make sure that none of our players get carried away by the occasion.

“We’ll be travelling up by coach to Blackpool on the day of the game and it will be business as usual.

“This is a very big day for the club and the town. We’ll be in the spotlight and I just hope that the good people of Batley get behind us in force.

“We want to take as many fans as possible with us on this journey and are aiming to have over 2,000 fans cheering us on in Blackpool.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve got to the final as it’s reward for some good performances over the course of the season. We started off with a young squad and a lot of inexperience but they’ve adapted well to the pressures of Co-operative Championship rugby.”

Having endured injury problems at half-back in recent weeks, Harrison is hoping for a dilemma of a different kind on Sunday.

Gareth Moore and Paul Handforth have both been injured but I’m hoping that both will be fit and ready for the final and luckily we don’t have any other major injury worries.

Tommy Gallagher, normally a front rower, filled in at number six for last Sunday’s victory over Barrow and notched four tries so we have adequate cover.

“We’ve had a couple of poor performances in recent weeks but showed what we are capable of against the Raiders at Mount Pleasant. It was a very satisfying display and means we can go into the final with a sense of confidence.”

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