Bulldogs buzzing for huge Bradford clash

Greg Minikin has scored four tries in six matches since joining Batley on dual registration from Castleford Tigers.
Greg Minikin has scored four tries in six matches since joining Batley on dual registration from Castleford Tigers.

Batley Bulldogs are buzzing ahead of Sunday’s mouthwatering Kingstone Press Championship showdown at top four rivals Bradford Bulls.

Batley go into the match on the back of a five straight victories, which has seen them cement a place in the top four with six matches of the regular season to go.

Bradford moved to within a point of Batley when they thrashed Oldham 48-4 in their game in hand last night (Wednesday) in front of watching Bulldogs coach John Kear.

Batley themselves are brimming with confidence and Kear is relishing the trip to Odsay, saying: “We have six big games, which are all equally important, the first of them coming at Bradford.

“We are looking for a big end to the season and we are really looking forward to it.

“I have to compliment the players, who have taken greater ownership for their preparation and performance, more than I’ve ever seen during my time at Batley and that is why you are seeing the results.”

Batley earned an impressive 24-10 win at Sheffield Eagles last Friday, giving them a couple of days’ extra rest before facing Bradford, although Kear believes this will have little bearing as his side take on the full-time Bulls.

Kear added: “I have 23 fit players and Bradford have 36, so they will have a fresh team on duty on Sunday.

“We will be preparing to face an energised and enthusiastic Bradford side but we will be the same.

“We haven’t set any outcome goals, instead we are setting progress goals and the win at Sheffield was another box ticked.”

Greg Minikin has scored tries in his last four games since joining on dual registration from Castleford Tigers and is enjoying his time playing elite Championship rugby.

Prop Alex Rowe has given Batley a further boost, delaying a knee operation to enable him to play from next week.

In-form Batley full-back Dave Scott is set to play the 100th game of his career against the Bulls on Sunday.

Scott has played 20 games for Batley in 2016, and previously played for Doncaster (66 games, 2013-2015) and Featherstone (1 game, 2013).

He has also represented Scotland (12 games, 2011-2015).