Brambani set for career milestone

Batleys Tom Lillycrop is held up by the Halifax defence during last Sundays Kingstone Press Championship clash. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Batleys Tom Lillycrop is held up by the Halifax defence during last Sundays Kingstone Press Championship clash. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Batley captain Dominic Brambani is in line to make the 300th appearance of his career when the Bulldogs welcome Featherstone Rovers to Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday (ko 3pm).

Batley bounced back from their opening day defeat in Toulouse as they defeated Halifax 24-6 in dreadful conditions last week and they now bid to end Featherstone’s 100 per-cent start to the season.

Brambani has played 35 games for Batley since joining the Bulldogs at the start of last season, while he previously featured seven times for Featherstone in 2005.

Brambani played 176 games in two spells at Sheffield Eagles, while his stellar career also includes stints at Dewsbury, Halifax and Castleford.

Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin was delighted with the way his players responded to the Toulouse defeat and he was able to celebrate a first competitive win in charge.

Diskin said: “It was massively pleasing considering the setback the week before.

“We managed to put a line under it quickly and deliver a decent performance in atrocious conditions.

“The boys showed a lot of character. We controlled field position really well and - given the conditions - played some decent rugby.”

Will Maher made a big impact on his Batley debut having joined on a season long loan from Castleford Tigers and Diskin praised his forwards for leading the way and thwarting Halifax’s best efforts.

Diskin said: “Will did very well and added a lot to what we already have. Tom Lillycrop was also outstanding, as he has been all the way through pre-season, and James Brown also did well when he came off the bench.”

Focus now switches to Featherstone, who have begun the season with back-to-back wins. A late try earned them a 32-26 win away to Halifax in their opening match and they edged past Oldham 8-6 last Sunday, when former Batley man Chris Ulugia scored both of Rovers’ tries.

Diskin added: “I think Featherstone will start as favourites. The conditions have helped their style of play.

“They have some smart half-backs who are benefiting from their middles making plenty of metres.”

Batley reported no new injury worries after the Halifax game, while Joel Farrell and Adam Gledhill could be fit for the Bulldogs’ trip to Sheffield on February 26.