TOMORROW’S VISIT of Leigh Centurions (3pm) is the perfect way for Batley Bulldogs to begin their Kingstone Press Championship campaign, coach John Kear reckons.
Big-spending Leigh are bidding to top the table for a third successive season, amid predictions from within their camp they could go the entire year unbeaten.
Other than it being away, it is the toughest possible start for Kear’s men, but he specialises in upsetting favoured teams and said: “I am really pleased we are playing them first. It is not so much about catching them unawares, it is more about us being able to measure where we are.”
Kear added: “Pre-season has gone well and we feel we are ready to play. We just want to see where we are in the competition, against what everybody agrees is one of the best teams.”
Leigh were stunned last week by the sudden resignation of coach Paul Rowley.
Neil Jukes is now in charge and Kear predicted: “It could go one of two ways, they could either split into groups, or it could bring them all together.
“We are expecting the latter, they will be prepared and ready to play and we are prepared for them at their best.
“We are reasonably healthy, the indication from pre-season is we’ve done a good job and it will all be revealed on Sunday.”