Rochdale Hornets v Batley Bulldogs
Sunday 25th June 2017, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 19
Stats over last 6 encounters
HORNETS LOOKING FOR REVENGE WHEN BULLDOGS VISIT
To round off the penultimate month of the first stage of the season, Rochdale Hornets welcome Batley Bulldogs to the Crown Oil Arena hoping to right some wrongs after their defeat in the reverse fixture.
With a quarter of the game to play Rochdale led 36-12 and looked to be on their way to a brilliant victory at the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium, only for the game to slip through their fingers in a dramatic ending to the game.
As the home side mounted a comeback Matty Hadden was sin-binned for a professional foul eight minutes from time, a period in which Batley crossed twice.
After communicating with the referee’s coach in the week following the game Alan Kilshaw was told the decision was wrong and that the Irish front rower shouldn’t even have been penalised.
Then, the game winning try looked to have come from a knock-on which the official on the day didn’t award, as Tom Lillycrop crossed for a late winner to steal a 38-34 victory for his side.
It was a bitter pill for the playing and coaching staff to swallow as they felt they should have come home with two points, but when the two meet again in Round 19 it presents the perfect opportunity to put that right.
Rochdale go into the game off the back of a victory over Bradford Bulls, as they completed a league double over their opponents to record only their second home win of the campaign.
They had trailed 12-0, but the bulldozing Joe Taira came off the bench to crash over for a double to take them within two points at the break.
They then kept their opponents scoreless in the second period, as tries from Lewis Galbraith and Hadden, complimented by six goals from Danny Yates rounded off a 28-14 triumph.
It was a brilliant defensive effort as they repelled wave after wave of attacks from the visitors, and Alan Kilshaw was delighted with the character shown as they fought back from behind to claim the two points.
Batley enjoyed a comprehensive 70-12 win over Sheffield Eagles and will be brimming with confidence as they head to the Crown Oil Arena.
It was a win which kept them five points clear of the Hornets and moved them above Mark Ashton’s side into sixth place, consolidating their place inside the top eight.
Rochdale captain Lewis Palfrey and fullback Miles Greenwood remain side lined, however Chris Riley has returned to the fold after missing the last two weeks due to injury.
Anthony Walker made his debut after completing a move from Wakefield Trinity and picked up a hamstring injury which looked set to put him out of action this weekend, however his recovery has gone better than expected.
The front rower has been named in the 19-man squad and will face a late fitness test ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Rochdale Hornets’ 19-man squad: Chris Riley, Dec Kay, Jake Eccleston, Lewis Galbraith, Rob Massam, Lewis Foster, Danny Yates, Lee Mitchell, Ben Moores, Gavin Bennion, Jordan Case, Josh Crowley, Gary Middlehurst, Ryan Maneely, Joe Taira, Matty Hadden, Ant Walker, Jack Holmes, Jono Smith