BRADFORD Bulls head coach James Lowes does not need to be told twice about what John Kear’s teams are capable of achieving.
The former Super League champions head to Championship rivals Batley Bulldogs tomorrow in an intriguing West Yorkshire derby.
Bradford, of course, are expected to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
However, their in-form semi-professional opponents have already defeated full-time Leigh Centurions and Sheffield Eagles, plus Halifax who reached last year’s top four, to go top.
“Batley have started the season well,” admitted Lowes, whose own side have played one less game after last Sunday’s fixture at Oldham was postponed.
“I know John Kear well and he’s a good bloke as well as knowing the coaching game inside out.
“What he doesn’t know about rugby league isn’t worth knowing. I’ve a lot of time for him.
“During the 1999 tour to New Zealand and Australia, John was our national team coach so I’ve known him a long time and his son plays for West Park Leeds RUFC, so I see him up there quite a lot.
“He will be saying this to his players – ‘if you turn up with the best attitude on the day you will win.’”
Bradford learned last season all about the intricacies of facing Batley on their famous Mount Pleasant slope and he expects nothing different tomorrow – the need for utter professionalism throughout.
“We made hard work of the game there last year,” recalled Lowes.
“They got hold of the game and we had to fight hard to come out of it with a win. It will be exactly the same this time – a tough battle – and the guys who played there last season will understand that now. The guys who have come in will soon get to understand it.”
Batley continued their recent form with a fourth win from five games when they eased past Workington Town 44-12.
Growing in confidence, Lowes admits Bulldogs’ form shows it matters little about who trains more hours.
“The fact that we’re full-time and they’re part-time is irrelevant,” said the former Great Britain hooker.
“It’s 80 minutes of rugby and full-time means you get to train in a nice way and should be fitter.
“But a lot of sports are about attitude and your approach to games. Leigh went there at the start of the season and had a battle on their hands. That wasn’t down to being full-time or part-time – it was about rolling your sleeves up and trying to grind something out of the game.”