Batley Bulldogs aim to build momentum ahead of Championship play-offs

Despite losing their last two fixtures, it is still possible for Batley Bulldogs to finish as high as third as they eye home advantage in the Championship play-offs.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 12:22 pm
Craig Lingard. Picture: Ed Sykes\

The Bulldogs travel to Halifax Panthers for their final regular season fixture on Sunday, aiming to respond after back-to-back home defeats against Whitehaven and Dewsbury Rams.

Craig Lingard’s side are one win behind the Panthers in the table and victory on Sunday by a margin of 15 points or more would be enough for Batley to leapfrog Halifax.

That outcome would guarantee the Bulldogs a home tie in the play-offs while if Bradford are beaten at home to Whitehaven, Lingard’s side would end the season in third.

However, given their performances in recent weeks, Lingard is not focused on the possible permutations as his main hope is for his side to get back to winning ways before the play-offs get underway later this month.

“With the last two performances we have had, we just need to concentrate on improving this week,” he said.

“If you look at the points you need to score then you will go away from what you should be doing to win.

“Our focus is on improving the performance and hopefully the victory will come and then hopefully we can score the points we need to get above Halifax. We are really conscious that we don’t want the season to peter out after how well we have done so far.

“We want to go into the play-offs on the back of a victory.”

Halifax have struggled for form since confirming their play-off place, losing three of their last four games with their most recent loss coming at Whitehaven last weekend.

Lingard added: “They will be wanting to fix up some of things from their defeats. We are expecting them to come and play like they did at our place when they beat us.

"We can’t rely on them playing badly, we have got to make sure we perform as best as we can.”