Batley Bulldogs rounded off their pre-season programme with a resounding 34-6 victory over Hunslet Hawks last Sunday.
Although the conditions were not conducive to playing free-flowing rugby, Batley managed to score seven tries as the Bulldogs warmed up for their opening Championship clash against Leigh in style.
The kicking of Dominic Brambani and, in particular Pat Walker, were instrumental, although forwards Keegan Hirst, Adam Gledhill, Sam Scott and Joe Chandler grafted hard in difficult conditions.
Batley took control in the first half, running in 20 unanswered points.
James Davey’s neat pass sent Gledhill through a gap and charging over for the opening try, which Walker converted.
Batley continued to show their attacking prowess as Shaun Ainscough and Gledhill were both held short of the line before Walker’s brilliant crossfield kick saw winger Wayne Reittie pounce for the first of his hat-trick of tries.
Batley had James Brown sin-binned but thwarted Hunslet’s efforts to get back into the game.
Brambani produced another lovely kick to set up Reittie’s second try before the influential scrum-half left the field with a dead leg.
Batley added a fourth try before half-time when Cain Southernwood’s pass sent Sam Scott over and Walker converted to put the Bulldogs in control.
Davey and Luke Blake attempted to take Batley forward with some neat play from acting half-back, while James Harrison came off the bench and also produced some strong drives in an attempt to stake a claim to be included in the squad to face Leigh.
Another excellent Walker kick to the corner allowed Reittie to complete his hat-trick but again the conversion was missed.
Walker’s kicking will be a huge asset to Batley this season and the loose forward was influential in setting up Batley’s sixth try with another well-placed kick to set up Shaun Ainscough.
Walker was again unable to convert from wide out in difficult conditions.
Alistair Leak got in on the scoring act when he kicked through and followed up to pounce for the try, with Walker converting.
Hunslet battled to the end and their efforts were rewarded with a late consolation try from Liam Mackay, converted by Lee Waterman, but it took nothing away from an excellent Batley display.