Batley Bulldogs boss wants improvement following comprehensive win over Newcastle Thunder

Craig Lingard feels there is still plenty of improvement left in his Batley Bulldogs side, despite recording a convincing win over Newcastle Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 2:36 pm
Leeds Rhinos loanne Levi Edwards scored for Batley in their win over Newcastle. Picture: OMHRugbyPics.

The victory keeps Batley well in the hunt for a play-off place as they face another crunch clash at Widnes Vikings this weekend.

Batley ran in seven tries at Mount Pleasant to record their second victory of the season over Thunder.

The Bulldogs took the lead after three minutes when Tom Gilmore scythed through the visitors’ defence and found Jack Blagbrough who went over for the opening try.

Three minutes later, Ben Kaye increased the lead with a second try to give Batley the upper hand. Nile Flynn increased the lead to 18 points on 21 minutes and the Bulldogs claimed a fourth try through Lucas Walshaw five minutes later.

Newcastle scored either side of half time as they looked to claw back the deficit with Ukuma Ta’ai crossing before Liam McAvoy dotted down early in the second half.

Hopes of a Thunder fightback were short lived as Kieran Buchanan scored two minutes after McAvoy had claimed the away side’s second try of the afternoon. Levi Edwards has impressed since joining Batley on loan from Leeds Rhinos and he added the home side’s sixth try of the afternoon just before the hour when he intercepted a loose pass and ran 80 metres to score.

Kieran Hudson was sent to the sin bin late on and Batley took full advantage as Ben White rounded off the victory with a try three minutes from time.

“Our first-half start got us the win really,” reflected head coach Lingard.

“I thought we were disappointing with our completion rate and with some of the decisions we made with the ball in hand.

“We went off script a lot, we can be disappointed and win with 42 points on the board rather than having 42 points against us and losing.

“We are trying to be positive, we are trying to enjoy the wins while we can but we know there is plenty of improvement in us if we are going to stay in these play-off spots.

“In the first half our goal line defence was good. I was disappointed with the starts to both halves.

“In recent games, our starts haven’t been good so we need to improve on that. Just getting through the game and scoring the points we scored, that is pleasing.”