BATLEY BULLDOGS are going into the Kingstone Press Championship Shield in prime condition, coach John Kear says.
The bottom eight teams on the Championship table will play each other once in a new competition beginning next week.
Points from the regular season carry over and the top four at the end of the mini-league will play in knockout semi-finals for a place in the Shield final, with the bottom two being relegated to League One.
Sunday’s 16-12 win at Dewsbury Rams left Batley ninth in the Championship, four points clear of second-bottom Hunslet Hawks and Kear said: “We’re one place off a play-offs spot, which our goal has got to be now.
“We’ve got to pick up one point on Workington over the course of seven games. It’s difficult, but not an impossible task.”
Joe Chandler faces a scan on a knee injury suffered in the derby win two days ago.
But Kear said Keegan Hirst, Cain Southernwood, Wayne Reittie and Elliot Cosgrove could all return for the first game in the Shield.
“We should go into the final stages of the season fairly healthy, we are feeling good about ourselves and we’re in good form,” said the coach.
“We have won three of our last four and the defeat was by three points at Halifax, so that shows how well we played.”