Batley Bulldogs coach Craig Lingard hails middle men after Challenge Cup win at Halifax

Delighted coach Craig Lingard has credited Batley Bulldogs’ front-rowers for their part in the Betfred Challenge Cup win at Halifax.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 11:45 am
Craig Lingard. Picture by Ed Sykes/

Bulldogs got their competitive season off to a flying start with a 19-6 victory, after losing both their pre-season matches.

Describing his team’s ‌performance at the Shay as ‌“very‌ ‌good”, Lingard said: “We‌ ‌challenged‌ ‌the‌ ‌players‌ ‌after‌ ‌the‌ ‌[warm-up]‌ ‌game‌ ‌at‌ ‌Featherstone‌ .

“We‌ ‌weren’t‌ ‌good‌ ‌enough‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌challenged‌ ‌the‌ ‌middles‌ ‌to‌ ‌put‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌performance.‌ ‌

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“We‌ ‌said‌ ‌they‌ ‌would‌ ‌set‌ ‌the‌ ‌tone‌ ‌and‌ ‌dictate‌ ‌the‌ ‌tempo‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌and‌ ‌it‌ ‌certainly‌ ‌went‌ ‌that‌ ‌way.‌

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“We‌ ‌had‌ ‌some‌ ‌quality‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌edges‌ ‌to‌ ‌put‌ ‌away‌ ‌the‌ ‌tries‌ ‌when‌ ‌the‌ ‌opportunities‌ ‌came,‌ ‌so‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌very,‌ ‌very‌ ‌pleased‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌performance‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌boys.”‌ ‌Bulldogs‌ ‌led‌ ‌8-0‌ ‌at‌ ‌half-time‌ ‌and‌ ‌12-0‌ ‌early‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌second‌ ‌half,‌ ‌but‌ ‌had‌ ‌to‌ ‌withstand‌ ‌heavy‌ ‌pressure‌ ‌after‌ ‌Halifax‌ ‌pulled‌ ‌six‌ ‌points‌ ‌back.‌ ‌

“We‌ ‌dropped‌ ‌off‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌bit‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌second‌ ‌half‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌game‌ ‌control,‌” Lingard admitted.

“The‌ ‌end‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌sets‌ ‌weren’t‌ ‌as‌ ‌good‌ ‌as‌ ‌they‌ ‌needed‌ ‌to‌ ‌be,‌ ‌Halifax‌ ‌got‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌bit‌ ‌of‌ ‌field‌ ‌position‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌were‌ ‌put‌ ‌under‌ ‌the‌ ‌pump‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit.

“We‌ ‌came‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌side‌ ‌of‌ ‌that‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌really‌ ‌pleased‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌endeavour.”‌ ‌

‌James‌ ‌Brown‌ ‌has‌ ‌a‌ ‌chance‌ ‌of‌ ‌featuring in this weekend’s second round tie at Featherstone, after missing the win over Halifax through injury.

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