Kear puts blame on anxiety levels

John Kear
John Kear
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BELIEF IS the key to Batley Bulldogs’ hopes of turning their poor form around, according to coach John Kear.

Bulldogs are second from bottom in the Kingstone Press Championship after a 24-12 defeat at Whitehaven and Kear said: “We’ve got to believe we can (get back on track).

“There were some very good individual performances we can take heart from, but also some woeful ones which will need addressing, either through team selection or individual review.”

Of Sunday’s game, Kear said: “The number of mistakes we made was ridiculous. That’s what killed us. We can’t blame the weather, it was good weather for playing rugby league, but maybe we could blame anxiety levels. Once they took the lead, we lost all composure and structure and we tried to win the game as individuals, rather than pulling together as a team.

“In the first half we completed eight out of 18 sets and the second half wasn’t much better. Overall we had a 50 per cent completion rate and that’s just not good enough at this level of competition.”

Bulldogs lost forward Keegan Hirst to an arm injury and Kear said: “It is not broken, but there is ligament damage to his elbow.”

Kear said Tom Lillycrop will submit an early guilty plea following his recent sending-off against Leigh Centurions and will miss Sunday’s trip to Bradford Bulls through suspension.