Batley and Rovers aim to put on a show for TV viewers
The two sides are battling to finish in the Championship’s top four – earning a crack at First Utility Super League opposition in the Qualifiers – and today’s tie is a rare chance for them to play in front of the TV cameras.
“It is a good occasion,” said Kear, whose team were beaten 14-12 at Featherstone earlier in the season and are on a two-game losing run.
“Personally I love the Challenge Cup and the Batley club has got a bit of a history of producing good performances. It is a big game for us, but we will have to play a lot better than we have done in the last two games.”
Third-placed Batley are a point better off than Rovers – who are fifth – on the table and Kear is predicting a tight meeting. He added: “When you play Featherstone, you know if you are going to be in the game it will be close, because they are such a good defensive side.
“We know we have to be on the ball defensively to restrict them and we are also expecting a very tough, very physical, high-energy encounter.
“I have watched their last three games and they are not conceding many points and they are looking more comfortable with the ball.”
Sharp has a similar view of today’s clash.
“They are always close games when we play Batley,” he said.
“We are expecting it to be nip and tuck all the way through and I think it will go down to the wire.
“They are a tough proposition, especially at home and we are going to have to play probably the best we have this year to beat them.”
Of the prospect of featuring in a live televised game, Sharp said: “It’s good, it is really exciting – but I hope not too distracting.
“The feeling around training is it is a big game and I am happy with that.
“Our club has a rich history in the Challenge Cup and we have an obligation to give it our best shot.”