Kear: London game most important in decades

John Kear has labelled Batley’s game with London at the weekend as the club’s most important game since the start of the summer era.

Despite losing heavily to Featherstone last week, the Bulldogs will still make the top four of the Championship if they can win their final two games of the regular season.

However, next up they face the difficult task of playing the Broncos, who have already secured their place in the top four following a superb season. Defeat to Andrew Henderson’s men could see Batley drop out of the top four if Bradford or Featherstone are victorious going into the final game of the season.

Given the financial implications at stake for all four West Yorkshire clubs chasing a spot in the Middle 8s, and the impact such resources would have on the Mount Pleasant club, Kear believes that defeating London is more important than any of the finals Batley have played in during his tenure.

“I think this is the most important game in the modern history of the club,” he told TotalRL.

“I put the Northern Rail Cup final, the Grand Final of 2013 and the play-offs in there, and there is no doubt that this game is the most important for the club in the summer era.

“Let’s not beat around the bush, from the club’s point of view and the bigger picture, should we make the top four the financial rewards are great. It is a very stable club, but my word, this will allow the club to put some foundations in place and branch out in many ways.”

There have been suggestions that London could rest players in their final two games to prepare for the Qualifiers, but with Jamie Soward potentially making his debut at the weekend, Kear has rubbished those claims.

“Well if you want to play a team with an NRL and State of Origin star making their debut, you’re welcome to it.

“They’ve got quality in their ranks and Andrew Henderson has done a great job in gelling them all together. You could possibly say us and London are the big improvers of the season.

“Anyone who has ever played Rugby League knows that when you go on to the field you are there to win. We’re preparing for ourselves to be at our best, and London to be at their best too.”