Championship Preview: Keighley Cougars v Batley Bulldogs

Keighley Cougars coach Paul March will pick the freshest team possible to face Batley Bulldogs in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash at Cougar Park.

The Cougars are facing their third match in 10 days, having travelled to Widnes and Whitehaven in their previous two outings.

March said: “Everybody’s fit to play, but the team will depend on how much game-time people have had over the last couple of weeks.

“We want to get back into a winning mentality. In the last two league games we’ve been there or thereabouts, but at crucial points we weren’t smart enough. We were in front with seven minutes to go against Whitehaven on Tuesday and self-destructed.

“We’ve been in that winning mentality before, and to perform how we have done in our last two league games is frustrating because we know we can do so much better.”

On Batley, March said: “We let ourselves down at their place. We were 12-0 up and ended up losing, and they’re a team that enjoys playing Keighley.

“John Kear will have them fired up, and they’ve had a couple of good wins over the last few weeks.”

Bulldogs coach Kear is hoping for an improvement in his side’s defence after they conceded 28 points against Rochdale last week.

Kear said: “The attacking play is what the fans want to see, but I’d much rather have a bit of good defensive play as well.”

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