Batley Bulldogs boss Craig Lingard’s got his sights set on the play-offs

SURPRISE PACKAGE Batley Bulldogs are on the verge of securing a place in the Betfred Championship play-offs.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 5:40 am
Batley Bulldogs head coach Craig Lingard. Picture: Ed Sykes/

Batley are fifth in the Betfred Championship, with 10 wins from their 16 games so far.

The top-six qualify for the end-of-season series and Bulldogs’ winning record is around 16 per cent better than seventh-placed Whitehaven.

Haven meet London Broncos – who are sixth – tomorrow and if Bulldogs can win at the division’s bottom side Swinton Lions (3pm), coach Craig Lingard is confident they won’t be caught.

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“We are not mathematically confirmed in that top-six yet, but I’d be extremely disappointed and surprised if we didn’t make it now with the games we’ve got left,” he said.

“I think every team we play between now and the end of the season – with the exception of Halifax – are below us in the table.

“I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win enough games to get us in the top-six and possibly push us a bit further up the table.

“This week will go a long way towards securing that if we win and Whitehaven lose.

“It’ll be done and dusted then and we can start planning for the play-offs.”

An under-strength Bulldogs side were beaten 28-13 at home by Featherstone Rovers six days ago, after leading 13-12 at half-time.

Lingard said: “We are on the back of a defeat and Swinton have had a win and a draw in their last two games.

“They’ve picked their first points up this season so they will be full of confidence, but many times this year we’ve come back from a bit of a setback fairly quickly and we’re hoping to do it this week.”

He added: “We will still be without quite a few players through either injury or the Covid protocols so we may be short of some numbers, but we are confident.

“We’ve played well this season and the group we’ve got are a great bunch.

“We’ve shown a bit of toughness and a bit of fight through some adversity this year and we’ve had some adversity over the last week or two.

“It is what it is, we can’t change it.

“We’ve just got to try and make the best of a bad situation.”