BATLEY BULLDOGS’ coach John Kear endured mixed emotions following his side’s 58-28 Qualifiers defeat to Huddersfield Giants.
The Championship side looked on course for one of the biggest defeats in their 136-year history having fallen 48-2 behind by half-time against their Super League opponents.
For all the part-timers still had to go down the famous Mount Pleasant slope in the second period, most people expected them then to be completely vanquished by the visitors.
However, instead, Batley managed to transform their own game around and actually came out on top of that second 40 minutes scoring five tries to two.
Kear said: “I was really upset by that first-half performance because we just weren’t there physically or mentally.
“Obviously when they pulled themselves around at half-time, in the second half we played some very good football.
“But at half-time players were saying ‘we haven’t had the ball’.
“Well, yes, but in rugby league you have to defend for five tackles and field the kick if you want the ball back. We just weren’t doing that and Huddersfield, rightly so, were 48 points up.”
But Batley, still awaiting their first Qualifiers win having been embarrassed 76-16 at Championship rivals London Broncos the week before and also losing at Hull KR, certainly impressed in that second period.
“We showed some pride, desire and commitment to each other in that and played some good football,” continued Kear.
“I’ve just said to them in there now our play-offs started at half-time as I enjoyed the second-half application and performance.’
“I’m hoping to enjoy the remaining four games as well.
“We needed that half-time; we showed up much better afterwards.”