Craig Lingard 'cant fault effort' following Batley Bulldogs' defeat at Featherstone

BATLEY BULLDOGS need to do the “right things” more consistently to reach the next level, feels head coach Craig Lingard

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 1:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 1:24 pm
MATCH ACTION: Featherstone 28-18 Batley. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

The Bulldogs pushed title favourites Featherstone Rovers all the way in their Championship opener on Good Friday, but came up short against a side with a wealth of Super League experience.

Lingard has taken heart from Batley’s display at Post Office Road and couldn’t fault the effort from his players as they were defeated on Friday night.

“I thought we had a good dig and battled really hard,” he reflected.

“Featherstone had a bit too much for us on the night but I can’t fault the effort from the boys.

“I don’t think there are many areas we could have done much better. There was a few too many penalties that let Featherstone out of their own yardage too easily.

“Other than that, I couldn’t fault the effort.”

The first try came after 17 minutes when former Wakefield Trinity player Craig Kopczak plunged over to open the scoring. Another of Rovers’ off-season signings, Kris Welham, was next over the whitewash as he extended the hosts lead with a four-pointer on 20 minutes.

The Bulldogs responded well to the setback, with Elliot Hall planting down two minutes later to reduce the deficit to four points.

The home side extended their advantage with two more tries before half time. First, Frankie Halton crossed with six minutes remaining of the half before Nu Brown glided through the Batley defence for a fine try just before the interval.

Hometown talent Gareth Gale put the game out of Batley’s reach with a fine finish eight minutes into the second half.

The Bulldogs kept their hosts honest, however, as Lucas Walshaw took a high kick from Tom Gilmore to score Batley’s second try of the night.

Ex-Castleford player Junior Moors scored his first try for Featherstone moments later, crashing over from short range.

The visitors kept battling and set up a tense finish with 10 minutes remaining as Jack Logan was sent over between the posts by Ben White.

Lingard added: “You look at their team, it is littered with players who have played top-flight rugby league all the way through their career.

“When players have that experience in these types of games, they are more consistent and they do the right things more often.

“That is what we need to do more - the right things more often to get to that next level.

“We have competed two weeks on the trot against a Featherstone team who are considered favourites to win the title.

“We just need to take that effort level and beat the teams that we should be beating now.”