Bulldogs focus on improved Hornets

Joel Farrell could come back into the reckoning as Batley Bulldogs travel to Rochdale in a re-arranged Betfred Championship game on Saturday.
Joel Farrell could come back into the reckoning as Batley Bulldogs travel to Rochdale in a re-arranged Betfred Championship game on Saturday.

Batley Bulldogs are determined to bounce back from last week’s narrow defeat away to Barrow Raiders when they travel to Rochdale for the first of two consecutive games against the Hornets on Saturday (kick off 3pm).

Batley appeared on course for a rare win in Cumbria when they led 18-14 but a converted try three minutes from full-time saw Barrow snatch victory.

Bulldogs assistant coach Danny Maun admitted they were left stunned at the manner of defeat but that the squad have worked hard in training and are determined to put it right.

Maun said: “We were dumb really and decisions that the lads wouldn’t normally make cost us. Disko (Matt Diskin) was fuming at the end. We knew it was a tough place to go and knew they would play for the full 80 minutes and they didn’t go away but we will get up and go again this week.

“We tried hard and probably deserved to get something from the game but you can’t afford to miss your money plays and sloppy defence also cost us.

“The lads will look to bounce back and some people know they had bad games but last week’s results have proved that anybody can beat anybody in this league on their day.”

The Rochdale game has been re-arranged from the opening round of fixtures after the Crown Oil Arena pitch was unfit but it means the Bulldogs and Hornets will lock horns in back-to-back fixtures with the return at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday week.

Maun added: “The next three games are huge and we have got to go there and get the job done and put in a performance like the one against Toulouse.

“We have got to put in an 80 minute performance not play for 65 or 70 minutes.”

Joel Farrell and Sam Smeaton could both come back into the reckoning for Saturday’s trip, while Jason Crookes may also be available after taking a knock to his ribs.

The Batley Bulldogs Independent Supporters Travel coach to Rochdale on Saturday leaves the Woodman Pub in Batley Carr at 12.30pm.

The cost is £12 and seats can be booked by contacting Mick Binks on 07581 158177.

The official Supporters Club coach will pick up at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium (1pm), Branch Road, Batley (1.10pm) and Birstall Library (1.20pm).

The cost is £10 adults, £7.50 juniors and can be booked direct with Station Coaches on 01924 477230.