Kingstone Press Championship preview: Batley Bulldogs v Halifax

John Kear’s Batley Bulldogs made it two wins out of two with their win against Hunslet Hawks.

“It was a tough game against a good team in very difficult playing conditions,” he said. “I was delighted that our team stayed composed and ended up on the right side of the ledger.”

Looking ahead to the game against Halifax, Kear said: “They put Whitehaven to the sword in round one and were very, very competitive against Leigh on a quagmire of a pitch. We’ve got to be confident in our abilities but also got to acknowledge that they’re a very good team that will get better round by round as the season goes on.”

Prop Keegan Hirst is fit and in contention for selection.

Halifax coach Richard Marshall believes his team got a lot out of their defeat by Leigh Centurions: “It was a good game for our players to be involved in, a good atmosphere and a good crowd,” he said. “The pitch wasn’t the best to play rugby on but we got quite a lot out of it, certainly defensively. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win but we performed well.

“Batley are the best team in the competition at the moment so it will be a good game for us. They are a good team at home, obviously they’ll play the slope and the conditions – something we’ll have to combat but we’re looking forward to it.”

Scott Murrell is a doubt with a groin injury but Jacob Fairbank is available for selection.

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