Championship preview: Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams set for tough away tests in round two

After contrasting starts in the Betfred Championship last weekend, Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams both face a tough away challenge tomorrow.

By Peter Smith
Saturday, 5th February 2022, 11:45 am
Batley's James Meadows who misses this weekend's game after being hurt in the win over Halifax. Picture by James Hardisty.
Batley's James Meadows who misses this weekend's game after being hurt in the win over Halifax. Picture by James Hardisty.

Bulldogs hit back from 16-6 down at half-time to get their campaign off to a winning start with a 30-18 result against visitors Halifax Panthers.

They travel to full-time outfit Newcastle Thunder, who began with a 20-6 success at Workington Town, tomorrow (3pm).

Bulldogs did the double over Newcastle in 2021, but the ambitious north east outfit are building a squad capable of challenging for promotion in the next few seasons and Batley coach Craig Lingard knows his side have a big job on their hands.

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“They will have had a good pre-season, training full-time and they have brought in some decent recruits,” Lingard said of tomorrow’s hosts.

“They will be stronger this year and going up there and playing on their 4g pitch is going to be difficult.

“They are used to playing and training on it so we have to contend with that and a number of injuries we picked up [against Halifax].

“We have got some battered and bruised bodies.”

Josh Milthorpe, Dale Morton, Oli Burton, Connor Carr, Toby Everett, Greg Johnson and Ben Kaye all come into contention for Batley, who will be without stand-off James Meadows (concussion).

Rams visit York City Knights (3pm) with boss Lee Greenwood looking for a huge improvement on the performance in last Sunday’s 46-16 home drubbing by Bradford Bulls.

York also got off to a losing start, but matched Featherstone Rovers for much of their 30-12 defeat on Monday night.

Greenwood accused his players of a “total lack of control, patience and discipline” and warned: “We have recruited a lot of players that are not seasoned at Championship level.

“They are going to have to learn quickly the standard of performance required at this level of the game.”

Veteran Paul Sykes could make an appearance for Rams, with Chris Annakin, Jonathan Magrin, Brad Graham and Reiss Butterworth also coming into contention.

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