Bulldogs focused on tough Doncaster trip

Batley prop Keegan Hirst is wrapped up by the Normanton defence during the Challenge Cup tie. Pic: Andrew Bellis
Batley prop Keegan Hirst is wrapped up by the Normanton defence during the Challenge Cup tie. Pic: Andrew Bellis

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear admits his side must remain focused for Sunday’s tricky Kingstone Press Championship trip to Doncaster.

Batley go into the game seeking a third win of the season against a side who have lost all five league matches and were dumped out of the Challenge Cup last week, losing 40-12 at North Wales Crusaders.

Kear knows the importance a win is as Batley aim to build momentum ahead of a tough Easter spell.

Kear said: “It is a strange game as Doncaster haven’t really hit the straps this season but we know what a good side they are.

“They beat us 20-12 at Mount Pleasant last season but for 40 minutes we were never in the game.

“They are a good team who have been under-performing so far.”

Batley recorded an emphatic 78-6 win over Normanton last Saturday to book a Challenge Cup fifth round tie at home to Swinton Lions.

It proved a memorable debut for St Helens loanee Matty Fozard, who came off the bench to score a nine-minute hat-trick.

Kear added: “It was a very professional performance but there were some areas in which we were sloppy.

“We are at home against a lower league side in the next round, where we have a chance of progressing, but we will put that on the back burner ahead of four tough matches.”

Brad Day suffered a heavy knock to the head in the Normanton win and is expected to be stood down from duty this week.

Alistair Leak could also be rested ahead of a tough Easter programme, which sees Batley entertain Dewsbury Rams in the Good Friday derby before travelling to London Broncos on Easter Monday.

Luke Blake is fit and could be slotted back in to the hooker role.