Rochdale Hornets v Batley Bulldogs
Sunday 13th August 2017, 15:00pm
Super 8s - Round: 2
Stats over last 8 encounters
HORNETS LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK AT HOME
After a disappointing start to their Championship Shield campaign, Rochdale Hornets will be looking to bounce back when they host Batley Bulldogs at The Crown Oil Arena.
It will be their first home game of the second phase of the season, after travelling to Dewsbury Rams in round one.
For the second time this year they were humbled at The Tetley’s Stadium, as they were convincingly beaten 58-8 by the home side.
Jono Smith and Chris Riley picked up consolation efforts, as they were outdone in all aspects with the Rams pulling three points ahead in fourth.
It will be a case of putting that performance behind Hornets though, and they will have no chance to dwell on the loss ahead of the visit of Batley.
Matt Diskin’s men got off to the perfect start in their Shield campaign, as they picked up a comprehensive 62-10 victory over struggling Swinton Lions.
Alex Bretherton, Wayne Reittie, James Davey and Dave Scott all crossed for a brace each as they ran in 12 tries to pick up the two points.
It was a win which saw the Bulldogs keep a two point cushion over Sheffield Eagles in second place, and will go a long way to securing their place in the play-offs.
The last time these two sides met was at The Crown Oil Arena, as the away side edged a hard fought contest 24-14.
It was the boot of Pat Walker which was the difference, as both teams crossed for three tries, but his accuracy from the kicking tee clinched the victory for his side.
Lewis Galbraith, Jake Eccleston and Gary Middlehurst all crossed for the Hornets, with Danny Yates adding a solitary goal.
In the first meeting of the clubs back in April, Hornets let a convincing lead slip to fall to a 38-36 defeat away to Batley, with a number of questionable calls going against Alan Kilshaw’s men.
Both games were in the past though, and with the two sides both looking to cement their place in the top four the focus will be on this game, and this game only.
Kilshaw will welcome back Middlehurst to his 19-man squad for the first time since a rib injury side lined him for five weeks, while Ben Moores will return from suspension.
Jo Taira is expected to feature despite picking up a knock last week, while Miles Greenwood could make a long awaited return at fullback.
With only six games remaining every point is crucial, and a win for Hornets will strengthen their chances of competing for the Championship Shield.