Championship preview: Halifax v Batley

Halifax continued their fine run of form with an excellent win over Sheffield Eagles. Coach Richard Marshall said: “It was a good win last week, Sheffield are a good team. We needed to be close to our best to beat them and we were. We were good defensively and racked up the points again.

“This was an important game for both teams so we’re pleased and relieved to get through it with a victory. We’re playing well, everybody’s improving and that’s all you can ask really.

“Batley are a well-coached team, I’ve got a lot of respect for them. They’ve got some good individuals but probably just not put it together for 80 minutes. I think if they do that they can beat anybody in the division.

“We played them at their place and I think there was only six points in it towards the end of the game. It was a tough game, probably the most physical we have played in this year, so we’re in doubt this will be as tough. But we’re a different team to then. We’re confident and confident in what we’re doing defensively and have numerous players who can score tries from anywhere on the field. We’ve got to continue in that form but respect Batley.”

Wing Gareth Potts took a knock to the head last week and unlikely to play this week.

John Kear’s Batley Bulldogs got back to winning ways with a victory over Doncaster. “I was delighted,” he said. “I thought in the first 40 minutes we were really good. The weather obviously affected the second half and Doncaster stepped up their level of performance as well. But to score seven tries, with six coming from the backs, five from the outside backs, was very pleasing. I thought the manner in which we played as well was heartening.

“I think Halifax are probably the form team at the moment, they really have picked up their levels of performance. I thought they were good at the Summer Bash against Bradford and since then they haven’t lost and to put 30 points on Sheffield is a fair old performance. Having looked at the game, they played some really good stuff.”