Batley Bulldogs go into the next match at the Shay Stadium on sunday knowing that anything less than a win could put an end to any top 4 aspirations. The Bulldogs, whose form has been indifferent of late, have lost 3 of the last 4 championship matches while their opponents, Halifax, are brimming with confidence after having won the last four – although these matches were against the bottom four of the table, i.e. Dewsbury, Bradford, Oldham and Swinton, and even then only the encounter with Dewsbury was convincing.
In the same period Batley have suffered defeats to London and Hull KR as well as Dewsbury, and have beaten Rochdale narrowly.
So on paper at least, the Bulldogs chances don’t look too bad; if it wasn’t for the two defeats at the hands of Dewsbury, one in the league and one in the Challenge Cup, where Batley looked nothing like a side challenging for the honours this year.
Coach Matt Diskin, while being very dissappointed last week, has stressed that he has belief in his players, but they need to start playing together as a team instead of as individuals. It is difficult to imagine the team completely turning things around this week, but I still expect a positive reaction after the Challenge Cup defeat at the Tetley’s Stadium. for this reason I think Batley will run Halifax very close and lose narrowly by maybe 6 points. My prediction therefore; Halifax 28 Batley 22.
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