Bulldogs aim for key win at Halifax

Macauley Hallett scored a brace of first half tries in the Challenge Cup defeat at Dewsbury.
Macauley Hallett scored a brace of first half tries in the Challenge Cup defeat at Dewsbury.

Batley Bulldogs will aim to end a recent dip in form when they travel to Halifax for a key game in their quest for a top four place in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Batley have lost their last two Championship games and bowed out of the Challenge Cup with an agonising golden point extra time defeat at Dewsbury Rams last Sunday.

Coach Matt Diskin was disappointed at his side’s cup exit but remains confident that the side can turn round their recent blip, starting with Sunday’s trip to The Shay.

Diskin said: “Every game we go into, I expect us to win and I probably have more confidence in the players ability than what they have in themselves.

“They are a very talented bunch but at the moment they are individually talented but not as a team and they are not playing in the same direction.

“They need to do that quickly if we are going to achieve anything this year.

“I have got some egos and some attitudes which I need to look at and get everybody buying into the team philosophy and moving forward together.

“We have got to get back to doing the little things well, which they are not at the moment, we are taking short cuts.

“The things you watch as a fan and don’t see, the retreats and movements in the line, we are taking shortcuts, which is allowing us to spend more energy than needed and subsequently you a little bit fatigued when it comes to the defence.”

Patch Walker missed last Sunday’s trip to Dewsbury, while the Bulldogs are carrying other injuries as they attempt to complete a league double over Fax following a 24-6 victory at Mount Pleasant.

Halifax lie fifth in the table, one place and two points above Batley, who will want to avoid losing further ground on one of their rivals for the top four.

Richard Marshall’s men go into the game on the back of four straight Championship victories plus a 36-12 win at Whitehaven last Sunday, which saw Fax into the Challenge Cup sixth round.

Sunday’s game kicks off at the later time of 6pm as the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race travels through Calderdale in the afternoon and Halifax are planning a family fun day to coincide with the major event.

Supporters of both clubs are invited to a fan zone (behind the South Stand at The Shay from 4pm, while an Under-7s tournament featuring teams from Siddal, Drighlington and Batley Boys will take place on the pitch before kick-off.