Batley Bulldogs coach Craig Lingard disappointed by display in defeat to Featherstone Rovers

BATLEY BULLDOGS head coach Craig Lingard was left disappointed with his side’s display as they were beaten 36-16 by Featherstone Rovers in their final pre-season outing on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:00 am
Featherstone 36-16 Batley. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

The Bulldogs return to competitive action for the first time in over 12 months when they travel to face Halifax Panthers in the first round of the Challenge Cup on Saturday evening.

Lingard admits his side will need to be better than they were against Featherstone, who out-scored the Bulldogs six tries to three.

Rovers got off to a flying start against Batley when Frankie Halton crashed over the line in the first minute.

Dale Ferguson then barged over by the uprights before Dane Chisholm scored the hosts’ third.

Elliot Hall hit back for Batley before half time but Rovers always looked in control as Liam Whitton, Jack Bussey and Dean Parata scored a try each before 61 minutes.

Batley had a late flurry with another try from Hall and one from hooker Alistair Leak.

“I was disappointed after the game, I thought we were pretty poor,” reflected Lingard.

“We know that we need to be better.

“Defensively, I thought we were very weak down the middle, Featherstone broke us too easily.

“They scored too many easy tries so we know we need to be better ahead of the challenge against Halifax.”

Batley started their pre-season with a match against rivals Dewsbury Rams, losing by two points.

Lingard expected a patchy performance in that outing and admits Featherstone are the standard he wants his Batley side to reach.

“I was more pleased with the Dewsbury game than the Featherstone game,” he added.

“We played four teams against Dewsbury, over four quarters so we couldn’t get any consistency in that game but we needed to see different people in different positions.

“We knew that game was going to be a bit scratchy, we knew there were parts of the game we weren’t going to be happy with.

“I thought we started well in the first half against Dewsbury and then dropped off in the second half.

“Against Featherstone, at the start of the first half we were abysmal but came back strong in the back end of each half.

“I was disappointed with that but Featherstone are a top team and the standard bearer for where our performances need to be.”