Bulldogs targeting first home success

Joel Farrell has served his suspension picked up at the end of last season and could be in line to feature against Barrow Raiders on Sunday.
Joel Farrell has served his suspension picked up at the end of last season and could be in line to feature against Barrow Raiders on Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs will have a full strength squad to pick from when they welcome surprise package Barrow Raiders for their first home game of the Betfred Championship season on Sunday (kick off 3pm).

Promoted Barrow have stunned two of the Championship favourites in their opening two home matches, drawing 8-8 with Toronto Wolfpack before shocking Leigh Centurions with a 24-20 win last Sunday, although they suffered a 56-12 defeat away to London in round one.

Batley go into the game on the back of an impressive 48-28 win over Swinton last week and they will have three players back in contention as Matt Diskin selects from a fully fit squad.

Joel Farrell is available having served a suspension picked up at the end of last season, while Sam Smeaton (knee clearout) and James Harrison (dead leg) are also back in contention.

Bulldogs assistant coach Danny Maun knows the side must be full focused as Batley look to make a winning start at Mount Pleasant.

Maun said: “I think you have had two teams who have gone up there with the wrong attitude.

“Barrow have come up from League One and with no disrespect to them, they haven’t spent money like Leigh and Toronto.

“They are a team of local lads, many who have come out of the amateur game, but they all seem to be good mates and when you have 17 lads who all want to win for each other, they can be a dangerous side.

“We will have to be on the money this week and the attitude has to be right whoever you are playing against.

“We have 23 or 24 players to pick from and Matt will have some difficult decisions to make. We have some quality players when everyone is available and they all know, they can’t afford to have an off game.”

Batley were happy with claiming victory over Swinton but Maun knows there is plenty of room for improvement from the side.

He added: “It was a mixed bag at Swinton. We got ourselves into a good position, leading 20-4 but we were not ruthless enough and let them back in the game.

“We could have had 50 or 60 points and there is loads of improvement, we know that, but scoring 46 away from home you can’t grumble too much.

“We played well for 50 minutes but let ourselves down with some lapses, which led to some of the tries.”