A FEAR factor has inspired Batley Bulldogs’ strong start in the Kingstone Press Championship, coach John Kear says.
Bulldogs’ 20-8 win over Sheffield Eagles two days ago was their second home victory against full-time opposition and they also pushed hosts Featherstone Rovers close before being pipped 14-12. Kear reflected: “We have played three games against three quality teams.
“We have won two and lost one – by two points – and we could have won that as well.
“We have set high standards, but the challenge is not to maintain it for three games.
“It is to maintain it initially for four and five and then also when the opposition doesn’t strike fear into your hearts.
“We looked at the start we had and we knew if we didn’t turn up we could get a shellacking.
“That has inspired the players and the challenge later on will be to perform when we are the favourites.
“That won’t be the case this week though, because we are playing Halifax – another team from the [last year’s] middle-eights and we know we won’t be favourites again.”
Bulldogs came through the game against Sheffield with no major new injuries.
Kear added: “I am delighted with that, because we had lost four players in our first two games.
“I think that made Sunday’s performance even more creditable, because we were without four players who would have been in the 17.
“The conditions were very tough, especially with the gale blowing down the slope.
“That made it a one-in-20, rather than one-in-10.
“The players were confident and they chose to play up it in the first half.
“It was only 8-6 at half-time and I think that laid the foundations for the win.
“It was 14-0 after that and I think that was a fair reflection of our second-half dominance.”