Friday, 11 August 2017

In the week where showed just how detached it is from the realities of running part-time clubs on small budgets and small staffs (they took a petulant pop at clubs for not updating their websites on a daily basis - only for us to find that their Championship and League 1 news pages were up to a week out of date), we discovered that - actually - the whole of Yorkshire's internet is running a week slow.

Thin skinned: The RL story that has Yorkshire horrified.
Every week, we scour the regional and local press (so you lovely people don't have to) in search of exciting, informative and entertaining snippets of news about our upcoming opposition. But this week has been a particular challenge. Not only does the Batley & Birstall News have no updated Bulldogs news beyond a report of their flogging of Swinton last week, that bastion of 'Yorkshireness' the Yorkshire Post carries zip, de nada, rien, absolutely no current Championship news.

Indeed, the main - and most current - Rugby League story on the  Batley & Birstall News left us a little puzzled (see above).

Batley began their Championship Shield challenge with a blistering bang, shoving 62 points through Swinton. Not only did they nil them in the second half, they scored 44 points in the process - having led 18-10 at the break.

The second half tsunami of points came - interestingly - in two waves. Two quickfire tries within six minutes of the restart, then nothing until beyond the hour mark whereupon they ran in six tries in the last 17 minutes (four of them in the last six minutes). So we can assume that Batley finish strongly.

Wayne's World: Reittie tells Deisel to 'do one'.
Once again, Pound-Shop Vin Diesel Wayne Reittie put himself about and weighed in with a brace of tries in a 12-try rout. Centre Sam Smeaton and full-back Dave Scott also grabbed doubles amongst eight try-scorers.

Batley currently sit 2nd in the Championship Shield table, eight points adrift of Toulouse - but Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin says they’re in the shield to win it. Speaking in the Yorkshire Post last week he said: “There is no arrogance, we know it is going to be a tough competition. The Championship is a really tough division and some teams in the bottom-eight have got the potential and quality to push for the top-four – like ourselves and Sheffield. We are not taking it lightly, we have to finish in a good place to get into the semi-finals.”

“Then when you get into semi-finals they are one-off games and anything can happen.”

Indeed, and when you start looking at the Shield as a series of one-off games in which anything can happen, it does change your perspective a bit.

Hornets performance at Dewsbury last week was well below par - but it’s a one-off, so let’s park that and move on. We’ve already seen this season what happens when you take the game to Batley - and barring a couple of shocking refereeing decisions towards the end of the game at Mount (un)Pleasant, Hornets were the far superior footballing side.

With Gaz Middlehurst, Rob Massam, Ben Moore and Dec Kay missing last week - on top of Lewis Palfrey and Miles Greenwood - Hornets lacked a little bit of both grunt and guile, so hopefully a few bodies back will help redress the situation.

Thankfully, other results in the bottom four fell in Hornets favour last week - the most eyecatching being Bradford’s defeat to Toulouse that saw the Bulls relegated in front of a sub-3,000 crowd.

This weekend’s other games are:
Dewsbury v Toulouse
Oldham v Bradford
Swinton v Sheffield

One thing is for certain - Sunday’s game will be a cracker. And, as we know, to avoid conjugating a constantly changing equation, a win keeps things nice and simple. Which is just the way we like it. See you Sunday.