Bulldogs can rise to the big occasion

James Harrison breaks through to score during Batley's 23-14 victory over Rochdale last Sunday.
James Harrison breaks through to score during Batley's 23-14 victory over Rochdale last Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs assistant coach Danny Maun believes the squad can rise to the big occasion as they face neighbours Dewsbury Rams in the Summer Bash finale in Blackpool on Sunday (kick off 5.30pm).

The game is televised live on Sky Sports and Maun admits it gives players at Championship level to showcase their talents to a wider audience.

Batley go into the game on the back of consecutive victories over Rochdale Hornets and the Bulldogs know completing a league double over the Rams could help put pressure on the sides immediately above them.

Maun said: “We know that form goes out of the window for these derby games and it could be down to the side who settles quickest in front of the TV cameras.

“It is a big event as there aren’t many times you are on telly and it is chance to play in a great stadium in front of a big crowd and it will have a cup final feel about the day.”

Batley overcame Rochdale Hornets 23-14 last Sunday but with a number of players carrying knocks, the squad returned on Tuesday for messages and a general analysis about the performance.

Maun added: “I think we had expectations having beaten them the week before but Rochdale came and had a real dig.

“Our lads know they were a bit off and they were a bit sombre in the dressing room after but there is chance to put that right this week.

“Izaac Farrell is still young but he is listening, has some good feet and in dangerous with the ball and he will only improve playing in the Championship week in week out.”

Batley are carrying a host of injuries to key players with prop Tom Lillycrop the closest to returning but is still around three weeks away.

James Brown and Dane Manning are about five weeks from coming back, while winger Wayne Reittie must undergo further scans on a dislocated shoulder sustained when scoring a cracking try against Toronto Wolfpack

Maun knows Batley could be a different prospect towards the end of the season if they get these key personnel back.

He said: “We have got a lot of players out but the feeling is that there is no reason why we can’t finish in the top five.

“Other teams are going to get injuries and lose form and we have to be ready to take advantage.”