Batley hooker Blake set for Rovers return

Hooker Luke Blake could be set to return for the Bulldogs as they prepare to meet Featherstone on Sunday.
Hooker Luke Blake could be set to return for the Bulldogs as they prepare to meet Featherstone on Sunday.
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Batley Bulldogs could have hooker Luke Blake back in contention as they face Featherstone Rovers in the Super 8s Qualifiers on Sunday.

Batley and Featherstone will both be looking to get off the mark and Blake’s return would give the Bulldogs a timely boost in what will be a key game in the qualifying stages.

Coach John Kear said: “Luke trained last week and this and he has shown no ill affects so should come into contention, which would be a massive boost for us, with the energy he gives us down the middle.

“We are going into the last four games of the season and we are looking for four good performances.

“I think the step up in level has shocked some players and it has been a learning curve for others.

“We have the two part time teams in the full time competition and it is a great opportunity for us but Jon Sharp will also see it as a great opportunity for his side.”

Batley defeated Featherstone 28-10 in the Challenge Cup at Mount Pleasant but lost 34-6 to Rovers in the Championship and Kear knows his side will have to improve if they are to get a first win of the Qualifiers.

He added: “We will have to be much better than the last time we met Featherstone as they played us off the park and that was the start of their magnificent end of season run.

“We gave the team the weekend and Bank Holiday off as these lads work but we had a solid week before and this week and things have been very positive in training.”

Although Blake looks set to return on Sunday, Shaun Ainscough continues to struggle with an injury picked up in the opening qualifying game at Hull KR, which is preventing him from been able to run properly.

He was due to return to see a specialist yesterday.