Bulldogs have injury doubts for away trip

Dominic Brambani is wrapped up by Hull KR's Maurice Blair. Picture: Steve Riding.
Dominic Brambani is wrapped up by Hull KR's Maurice Blair. Picture: Steve Riding.

Batley Bulldogs could be without loose forward or stand-off Pat Walker and winger Shaun Ainscough for Sunday’s trip to London Broncos.

The pair both hobbled out of last week’s game against Hull KR when the Bulldogs slipped to a 58-18 defeat in their opening match of the First Utility Qualifiers.

Walker suffered a groin injury and although he tried to continue, was eventually forced off, while Ainscough damaged a knee.

Cain Southernwood and Alex Brown are ready to step in if the duo are ruled out, while Batley will also have captain Keegan Hirst available after he missed last week’s trip to Hull due to internal disciplinary issues.

Despite last week’s heavy defeat to a classy Rovers side, coach John Kear believes his side will have gained valuable experience and can get better as the qualifiers progress.

Kear said: “I have told the players they will be better as individuals and as a team when we come to the last game of the Super-8s than they are now.

“Hull KR were excellent in their attitude and application and they were fast and skilful.

“The quality of their play took some of our players by surprise, but they now know that’s the intensity and quality they have to aspire to play at for the next six games.”

The gulf in class between Super League and Championshis clubs was in evidence on Saturday when Leeds Rhinos thrashed Featherstone Rovers 62-6.

London were edged out 34-30 at Leigh in their qualifying opener so both Batley and the Broncos will be seeking a first win in the competition.

Batley will head to Ealing Trailfinders buoyed by a terrific 31-20 victory against the Broncos on July 17 in what many described as the Bulldogs’ best performance of the season.