Kear slams Bulldogs first half display

Batley's Scott Leatherbarrow attempts to tackle a Featherstone defender. Picture: Carol Austerberry
Batley's Scott Leatherbarrow attempts to tackle a Featherstone defender. Picture: Carol Austerberry

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear slammed his side’s first half performance at Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.

The Bulldogs trailed 34-0 at half-time in what Kear described as ‘disgraceful’ and although the Bulldogs rallied after the break, they were unable to prevent a 44-16 defeat, which leaves them ninth in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Kear said: “The first-half was disgraceful. There is no other word for that. The players know that, the players feel that.

“We know as a group we have to be far, far better than that.

“We looked soft in contact and they rolled us back without a problem. We made basic errors with ball in hand and we gave away penalties.

“We hardly touched the ball. We opened up the first 10 minutes okay and then there was a period we hardly touched the ball for 20 minutes and by that time the game has gone.

“You shouldn’t have to give them good old fashioned roastings at half-time to engender some sort of reaction.

“We need as a group to make sure we are ready to play from minute one of the first-half and not get a rocket at half-time and then start fronting up work defensively and offensively.

“I was pretty confident before the game. Training was good all week and they’d looked pretty good. We’d worked on certain aspects of the game but it wasn’t a technical or a tactical thing on Sunday, it was an attitude thing, there’s no doubt about that.

“Once they changed their attitude at half-time you saw what they could do and what they were capable of doing but it was too late then.

“Being a professional rugby league player is about preparing for every game in a professional manner and being intense and being focused and being ready to play from minute one.

“I was pleased with the response in the second-half but that’s from days of yore having to give them a rocket etc to get responses. They sould be better than that and we should be better than that as a group. It’s something we’ve got to address.

“We’ve got a really tough three games in a short period of time, with Sheffield Friday, London Wednesday and then Leigh the following Sunday.

“I’ll tell you, if we start like we started on Sunday we’ll get what we’ve got.

“It’s an old Wayne Bennett saying if you do what you’ve always done you get what you always got so we’ve got to have to do something different. We are going to have to prepare much better.

“James Craven was injured. He got a heel injury that he picked up last week. We thought he may recover but he couldn’t and he failed a fitness test on Friday so that forced a re-shuffle.

“But that wasn’t behind the problems we had. It was attitude and it needs to be much, much better for the coming weeks.

“We haven’t got the biggest squad but it isn’t a matter of that. At the minute I don’t think you look forward very much, I think you have to look back first all and we’ve got to look back at the first-half and there will have to be some soul searching and there will have to be a real good look at what we did.

“It’s got to be a real in-depth look at what we did in that first 40 minutes and then make sure that doesn’t happen again. That’s the worst 40 minutes we’ve had all season.”