Manning set to bring up century at Bulldogs

Dane Manning tries to force his way through the Toronto defence last Sunday. The back rower is set to make his 100th appearance for Batley Bulldogs.
Dane Manning tries to force his way through the Toronto defence last Sunday. The back rower is set to make his 100th appearance for Batley Bulldogs.

Back rower Dane Manning is set to play his 100th game for Batley Bulldogs when they travel to Swinton Lions in the Betfred Championship on Sunday.

Manning made 27 appearances in his first spell at Batley in 2011 and returned to the club in 2017, making his second debut in a 44-6 defeat against Toulouse Olypmique on February 4.

Manning has gone on to make a further 72 appearances and, having already agreed a new deal to remain at the club in 2020, he will reach the century milestone if he plays against Swinton.

Coach Matt Diskin was full of praise for his side’s effort as they went down 40-10 at home to big spending Toronto Wolfpack last Sunday.

Toronto appear set to top the Championship as they are 10 points clear of a trio of chasing sides but Batley showed great determination to restrict them for long periods.

Diskin said: “I don’t think the scoreline is a true reflection of the effort our lads put in.

“There were a couple of soft tries conceded and the scoreline flattered them a little bit. Our effort was there, but you get what you pay for.

“When you are spending £180,000 compared to £1.8m it is a big difference.

“With that £1.8m you can pay for quality that’s very clinical when they need to be.”

“We knew we needed lady luck on our side and it didn’t quite shine that way.

“What I did want was a good performance attitude from our players and they had that. They worked really hard for each other.

“They didn’t make the smartest decisions at times, but the effort and attitude was there and, if we’ve got that, we can work on things going forward.”

Batley travel to Swinton with the sides level on 12 points and lying ninth and 10th in the Championship table.

Diskin reported a clean bill of health following last week’s game against Toronto, adding: “We’ve got a potential couple I am awaiting assessments on, but nothing serious.

“Jack Downs dislocated his shoulder, but it popped straight back in.

“Other than that we are pretty clean, I think.”

Batley’s AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-final away to Sheffield Eagles will be take place on Sunday July 28 with a 2pm kick off.

This is to enable both semi-finals to be shown live on the Our League App with the Leigh Centurions v Widnes Vikings clash to follow at 4pm with places at the Wembley final at stake.