BATLEY BULLDOGS boss John Kear is refusing to count his chickens as his team close in on a place in the Qualifiers – and a showdown with Leeds Rhinos.
With three rounds of the regular season still to play Batley are fourth in the Kingstone Press Championship, three points ahead of fifth-placed Bradford Bulls.
A top-four finish would be an astonishing achievement for part-time Bulldogs, who have one of the smallest playing budgets in the competition, but Kear says the job is not done yet.
“We have still got to play Featherstone at home, who are contenders along with ourselves,” he said. “Then we have got London, who are already in the top-four and Swinton, who beat us at home in our only home defeat against Championship opposition.
“We have got three tough fixtures, but we are fully aware Bradford and Halifax [who are third] have tough fixtures as well. It won’t surprise me if it goes right to the wire and all we are concentrating on is one game at a time.”
Bulldogs came through last Saturday’s 16-8 win at Whitehaven with no new injuries.
Kear observed: “We’ve not played as well in our last two games as previously, but we’ve still won. At this stage of the season that is the most important thing.”