Widnes Vikings 16 Batley Bulldogs 34 - Batley take huge step towards play-off place

BATLEY Bulldogs gave their play-off hopes a huge boost as they came from behind to win yet again, this time against Widnes Vikings.

By Ben McKenna
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 11:17 am
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 1:41 pm
HEAD COACH: Craig Lingard. Picture: Ed Sykes\SWpix.com.
HEAD COACH: Craig Lingard. Picture: Ed Sykes\SWpix.com.

Head coach Craig Lingard hailed the resilience from his side as they overturned a 16-6 deficit with 28 unanswered points in the final 25 minutes.

The Bulldogs have fought from behind to win on numerous occasions this campaign, with the victory over the Vikings moving them four wins clear of seventh-placed Whitehaven with seven games of the regular campaign remaining.

“In the last two weeks, we have played Newcastle and Widnes who were both just outside the play-off places,” said Lingard.

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“We thought if we could get two wins in those games, then, looking at the bigger picture, it is unlikely teams below us are going to win four more games than us with seven games left.

“We are confident with our run-in that we are going to pick up enough wins, regardless of what the teams below us are going to do.

“It is all in our hands. Rather than looking over our shoulders, we are looking to see how many teams we can reign in.”

Kieran Buchanan’s early try gave Batley the lead before two tries from Deon Cross and one Danny Craven put Widnes 10 points ahead with half an hour remaining.

Elliot Hall’s first try sparked the visitors’ fightback as Alistair Leak followed up that score with a try of his own to edge Batley ahead. Dane Manning claimed Batley’s fourth try of the afternoon before a second score from Hall put the result beyond doubt.

Leeds Rhinos loanee Levi Edwards sealed the victory with his fourth try in as many games.

“They have developed a lot of resilience,” added Lingard of his side.

“When we were 10 points down early in the second half, we could have easily crumbled and got beaten by 20 or 30 points.

“In the first half, Widnes had a hell of a lot of possession and we had to defend our own line and could have easily cracked.

“We tried to flip it in the second half and put more pressure on their line to see if they would crack. Fortunately for us, in the last 25 minutes we put them under some pressure and scored 28 points.

“We proved that if we put ourselves in a position to score points then we will do. We wouldn’t have been able to do that if that determination in defence wasn’t there in the first half.”