Batley Bulldogs go into Sunday’s derby at Dewsbury confident of upsetting the Rams’ hopes of earning a top six finish before the Championship splits into the Super Eights.
Batley will be seeking to avoid a hat-trick of derby defeats this season and the Bulldogs know victory could scupper the Rams’ hopes of sixth place.
Dewsbury travelled to Leigh last night (Wednesday), with the Centurions requiring just a point to guarantee top spot going into the second stage of the competition.
Dewsbury and Batley are set to meet again before the end of the campaign as both will compete in the Championship Shield section, with the fixtures to be revealed after this weekend’s matches.
Batley have, seemingly, come through a tricky period of a seven-match losing streak to win two of their last three games and they will bid to boost their confidence further with victory over their greatest rivals.
Last week’s impressive 45-28 success at home to Hunslet Hawks saw Batley climb to ninth in the Kingstone Press Championship.
They are level on 12 points with 10th placed Whitehaven and two ahead of second-bottom Hunslet, while John Kear’s men could finish this stage as high as eighth as they are just a point behind Workington.
Winger Wayne Reittie is a doubt for Sunday’s derby after tweaking a hamstring against Hunslet and the Bulldogs medical team will assess the extent of his injury before deciding whether he plays.
Bradford Bulls loanee Chris Ulugia has staked his claim but will undergo fitness test before Sunday.
Ulugia injured a shoulder on his Bulldogs debut at Halifax a fortnight ago but the damage is not as bad as first feared and he will be available when Batley embark on the Championship Shieldstage.