GALLANT BATLEY Bulldogs “set themselves a standard” with their performance in the agonising near-miss against Bradford Bulls two days ago.
Batley led the full-time, former Super League outfit 19-14 as late as the 75th minute, but Bulls ran in two last-gasp tries to seal a 26-19 victory, in front of a crowd of 2,223.
It was Batley’s third successive defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship, but coach John Kear reflected: “I was pleased with the performance and disappointed with the outcome. I thought their effort and the quality of their play deserved something, but credit to Bradford for finding a way to win. It is disappointing, when you put so much effort in, to come away with nothing, but they have set a standard.
“The players have shown when they arrive focused and ready to play and they do what they have been practicing, they are a pretty good team. The test now is to repeat that consistently.”
Kear’s side came through with no major injuries, but “a lot of sore and tired bodies”. He added: “One of my players said to me ‘I hope Bradford enjoy their ice baths and their recovery session in the pool and their review, while we go to work’!”
Meanwhile, Bulldogs’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth-round tie against Normanton Knights will be be played at Belle Vue, Wakefield, on Saturday (2pm).