Kear admits Batley errors proved costly

Early guilty plea from Tom Lillycrop.
Early guilty plea from Tom Lillycrop.

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear admitted errors proved costly as his side slipped to defeat at Whitehaven last Sunday.

Batley have now lost their last six Kingstone Press Championship matches and won just one of their last 12 outings and face a daunting trip to joint leaders Bradford Bulls on Sunday.

Kear said: “The number of mistakes we made was ridiculous. That’s what killed us.

“We can’t blame the weather, it was good weather for playing rugby league, but maybe we could blame anxiety levels. Once they took the lead, we lost all composure and structure and we tried to win the game as individuals, rather than pulling together as a team.

“In the first half we completed eight out of 18 sets and the second half wasn’t much better. Overall we had a 50 per cent completion rate and that’s just not good enough at this level of competition.”

Kear remains confident that his side can get back on track in their remaining five matches before the competition splits into two groups of eight.

Kear added: “We’ve got to believe we can (get back on track).

“There were some very good individual performances we can take heart from, but also some woeful ones which will need addressing, either through team selection or individual review.”

Batley lost influential forward Keegan Hirst to an arm injury against Whitehaven and although there is no break, there is ligament damage to his elbow.

Batley will be without Tom Lillycrop for Sunday’s trip to Odsal after he submitted an early guilty plea following his sending-off against Leigh Centurions a fortnight ago and received a one-match ban.

Lillycrop became the first Batley player to be shown a red card during Kear’s time in charge at Mount Pleasant.

n The Batley Bulldogs Independent Supporters Travel are running a coach to Bradford which will leave the Woodman pub, Batley Carr, at noon.

The fare is £6 and seats can be booked by contacting Mick Binks on 07581 158177 or Michael Gothard on 07516 302665.