PREVIEW: Halifax vs Batley

Richard Marshall’s Halifax ground out a win in tough conditions at Workington last week.

“Conditions were tough up there but we came through it really well,” he said. “They put us under a lot of pressure in the first half and we defended back-to-back sets on our line and managed to kick our way out of trouble through Scott Murrell and Gareth Moore.

“We took our opportunities, which we didn’t against Sheffield. That was really pleasing – to improve on the week before.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of Batley Bulldogs he said: “Batley are a good team – probably the form team in the competition. I’m not surprised, because they are always competitive. We know we’re going to have to kick our enthusiasm levels up this week and definitely take our chances because we may not get as many.”

Full-back Miles Greenwood is fit and available while forward Gavin Bennion could also be added to the squad.

John Kear, the Batley Bulldogs coach, said: “I’m really pleased with what we’re doing at the minute. We’ve faced formidable challenges in the first three rounds and I think we’ve answered each challenge very well. Obviously, with two of the challenges, we’ve come out on the right side of the scoreboard so we feel we’re in a good place but the fact is that we still feel there are areas where we can get better. We’ve got to make sure we maintain standards for 80 minutes.

“We knew the first six weeks were going to be really tough and we’re happy to embrace that because we felt that would determine where we were. Halifax were the go-to club last year. I think they inspired all part-timers that you could get in that middle eight should you perform well over the rounds. Because of that they recruited very well in the off-season. They’re going to be a heck of a challenge.”

Hooker James Davey and prop Sean Hesketh could be available for Batley this week.