JOHN Kear was full of praise for his Bulldogs side after seeing them play some excellent rugby to defeat Keighley Cougars in their opening game of the Championship season.
The Bulldogs ran in seven tries as full-back Miles Greenwood grabbed a hat-trick but it was Batley’s defensive effort that most pleased the head coach.
Speaking after the win, Kear said: “I was happy with the performance in our first game and what delighted me most was the period 15 minutes after half-time when we saw very little of the ball, we only completed three sets during that time – one was a try, one a penalty and the other a kick – but our defence was magnificent during that time and it really took the wind our of (Keighley’s) sails.
“It was a fair debut from Miles but I though John Davies also did well along with the other new lads.
Stand-off Ben Black had a terrific game, capped by a brilliant try, and Kear added: “He is a clever player. He is the conductor and the others are the orchestra and he does what he is asked. I was really happy with everyone though.”
Kear decided not to play any of the Huddersfield Giants dual-registration players but fielded Alex Walsmsley, who was not selected in the St Helens squad.
Kear explained: “I spoke with Nathan Brown and he was kind enough to make Alex available for us.
“Alex is one of us, it is not like bringing someone new in. He played with us all last season and knows our structures and systems. He got the nod and justified his place.
“Our props made breaks and they showed composure in their decision making, when they were in two v one situations which is something we have worked on.
“We will see how good we are next week when we have a fair challenge against the champions on their own midden.”
Batley travel to Sheffield Eagles on Friday night. Preview in Thursday’s Batley News.