Championship: Kear wants Summer Bash to stay, but with a few changes

John Kear.
John Kear.
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BATLEY BULLDOGS coach John Kear reckons the Summer Bash should become a regular part of the Kingstone Press Championship calendar, but with some changes.

Bulldogs will face Dewsbury Rams at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road tomorrow (12.45pm) in the opening game of the event’s second day.

The Summer Bash was introduced last year as the Championship’s version of the Super League Magic Weekend, when an entire round of matches are played over two days at the same venue.

“It is a good occasion,” Kear said. “It is special for the fans and good for the Championship. I am a fan of it, but I would sooner it was one of the 22 rounds, rather than an extra game.

“It gives a lopsided look to the league. One team would have to give up home advantage, but I think that’s a better way to do it.

“If Batley play Dewsbury every year, one season it would be a Batley home game and it would be Dewsbury’s the next.

“Then there could be just one game over the Easter period and that would be a much fairer fixture list.”

Batley are fifth in the table and will rise to third if they win, though fourth-placed Featherstone and Bradford, who are one spot higher, both play later in the afternoon.

Dewsbury are eighth, but Kear warned: “I have been involved in many derbies and you can’t read anything into form.

“That’s a cliche, but it’s how it is.”

Of the importance of tomorrow, he added: “It is two points. They are all as important as each other.”

Rams coach Glenn Morrison believes a win tomorrow could be a turning point in his side’s season.

“We are starting to get some players back,” he said. “They have got to start gelling, but if we get a good win we can get some confidence and we can get on to a roll at the right end of the year.

“The teams below us are playing each other, so it is one of those games we need to get points from.”

Like Kear, Morrison said form will count for nothing tomorrow.

“They have played some good rugby,” he said of Batley “We have had a good run against them, but they beat us earlier this year and that’s one we want to rectify.”