batley bulldogs have set themselves a standard and the challenge now is to maintain it for the rest of the year, boss John Kear says.
Bulldogs were pipped 26-22 at First Utility Super League side Widnes Vikings in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup two days ago, after trailing 20-6 at the break.
Kear’s men are eighth in the Kingstone Press Championship and he wants them to use the confidence gained on Sunday to push for a top-six finish.
“They were outstanding,” he said of Bulldogs’ Cup effort. “I’ve got to be pleased with what they served up, they played really well against a good Super League team who have only lost once at home this year. We didn’t beat them, but we certainly scared them and as the scoreboard shows, we weren’t far away.”
Kear added: “They will certainly take confidence from it. They were 26-6 down with 35 minutes left and they showed great resilience and belief to work their way back into the game. The challenge now is to find that level on a consistent basis, no matter who they are playing.”
Bulldogs, who face Dewsbury Rams at the Summer Bash in Blackpool on Sunday, have an injury doubt over Alistair Leak (ankle). Kear said: “We played with one half-back - Scott Leatherbarrow - after Alistair was hurt and the players’ effort showed what can be achieved.”