Bulldogs plotting assault on Shield

Alex Rowe is wrapped up by the Sheffield Eagles defence during last Sundays Kingstone Press Championship clash. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
Alex Rowe is wrapped up by the Sheffield Eagles defence during last Sundays Kingstone Press Championship clash. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
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Batley Bulldogs will look to build on last week’s impressive 70-12 victory over Sheffield Eagles when they travel to Rochdale Hornets in the Kingstone Press Championship on Sunday.

Batley ran in 11 tries as they swept aside an Eagles outfit who began the day above them in the league standings.

Batley have climbed to sixth place in the table and while finishing in the top four is out of their reach, they will be keen to make an assault on the Championship Shield when the season splits in five games time.

Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin was delighted with his side’s performance against Sheffield but believes there is still more to come.

Diskin said: “The first-half performance was near-perfect, although there’s always elements you need to be better at, such as kick pressure.

“The second half got a bit scrappy and there is still room for improvement, but it’s good to be able to say that when you are winning by 70 points.

“The top-four was our initial goal and it looks as though we’ve fallen short of that, but we want to finish as high as we can.

“We’ve gone above Sheffield now and we need to keep chipping away.”

Back rower Dane Manning will play the 200th game of his career if he features against Rochdale on Sunday.

Manning’s appearance against Sheffield last week was his 46th in two spells with the Bulldogs, while he played 129 games for Halifax between 2012 and 2016 and 23 times for Featherstone in 2010 having made one appearance for Leeds Rhinos in 2009.

Batley will check on injuries to Alex Rowe and Alistair Leak ahead of Sunday’s trip to Rochdale, who were five points clear of the relegation zone ahead of two key Championship fixtures played last night.

Dewsbury Rams were looking to boost their survival hopes with a win on their trip to fellow strugglers Oldham, while third-bottom Swinton travelled to Featherstone Rovers.

Victory for Featherstone in that game would have all but ended Batley’s faint hopes of making the top four, with Toulouse the only team they would be able to mathematically catch in their remaining five games.

The Batley Bulldogs Supporters Club coach to Rochdale leaves Mount Pleasant at 12.30pm, Branch Road, Batley at 12.45pm and Birstall Library at 1pm.

The fare is £10 adults, £6 children and bookings can be made direct at Station Coaches on 01924 477230.