THE LATEST Heavy Woollen derby (3pm) is about more than bragging rights, according to Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear.
Tomorrow’s visitors Dewsbury Rams are chasing a home tie in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield semi-finals, while Bulldogs need a win to boost their hopes of qualifying.
“If we are going to get in the top-four I think we have got to win four of our last six games,” Kear predicted.
“We have three home games, including the one against Dewsbury and I’d like to think we’ll win those and then we’ve got to pick up one away. That would give us a chance, but I’m not saying it would guarantee it – because Workington are in good nick at the moment and Jarrod Sammut has made such a difference to them.”
Batley are fifth, three points behind Workington and will aim to repeat last month’s league win over Dewsbury.
Of Rams, Kear said: “They’ve been very good this season.
“I know Glenn (coach Glenn Morrison) feels they have had flat spells, but they have kept picking up results and credit to them, that shows what a good team they are.
“They will want to put things right from the derby three weeks ago, but the points in this derby are more important than bragging rights.
“At this stage of the season it is all about the two points. I am not bothered whether Batley fans have bragging rights, I am more concerned about Batley’s team picking up the two points.”
Morrison confirmed Rams are keen to set the record straight.
“We were pretty poor last time we played Batley,” he said. “We had 10 players missing and we went into the game without a half-back.
“We still managed to score three tries to two, but we didn’t get the result we wanted.
“We will have to be better than that, because at their ground they will make it tough.
“They need the points to keep away from the relegation zone, but we want to win it as well.”
Rams are already guaranteed a play-off spot, but Morrison stressed: “We want to finish in the top-two. That was one of our goals at the start of the year and we’d much rather have a home semi-final than have to go somewhere like London, so we need to keep winning.”