Kear not underestimating Whitehaven

Batley coach John Kear says the Bulldogs will have to be at their best to overcome Whitehaven.

The two Championship sides meet in the Challenge Cup tomorrow.

Batley continued their impressive early season form with a 24-24 draw at home to Bradford Bulls.

“It was tremendous; the players are reaping the rewards for their hard work in pre-season and an intense and focused approach to team meetings and training,” Kear said.

“There’s competition for places which obviously helps so at the minute they’re in a good place and playing well. But we’ve got a different challenge this week in the Challenge Cup.

“I went down to Whitehaven’s game at Sheffield and it wasn’t a fluke, they played very well. They’ve got some real good ball movement; (Louis) Jouffret round the back is a constant threat and each winger got a couple of tries so they really did spread the ball about.

“Once again we will have to be at our best in order to accept that challenge and overcome it.”

Whitehaven go into the game following an impressive 26-24 win at Sheffield Eagles

“We were pretty good in a lot of aspects, it was a massive improvement on how we’ve been performing since the start of the year,” coach James Coyle said.

“We’ve got a few training sessions in and some dry ground and it should suit us a lot better. It’s going to be tough for us this weekend.

“We’ve got a few niggles and a few injuries plus we’ll lose the lads from Widnes on dual registration, whom we’ve had some good continuity with.”

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