Batley aim to catch Fax cold

BATLEY assistant coach Lee Greenwood has “no doubt” that Halifax will reap the benefits of this week’s warm weather training camp in Spain as the season goes on.

But the former Fax winger is hoping the short term impact of his hometown club’s five-day stay in Murcia is a little less positive ahead of Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup clash between the two sides.

Matt Calland’s squad fly back into England tomorrow, just 48 hours before the showdown with the Bulldogs at the Shay.

“In the long term, they’ll benefit from it, there is no argument about that,” said Greenwood.

“The quality and quantity of training you can do in that kind of environment certainly beats being up at Mount Pleasant in the hail and mud training under the floodlights.

“The danger sometimes is that when you come back and then go pretty much straight into a game in wet, muddy conditions it can take you some time to acclimatise again.

“Like I say, it is going to work for them, but hopefully it might work for us a little bit this weekend.”

Greenwood tagged the fixture as a must-win for the Bulldogs, who won the competition last season but are facing a potentially early exit this year after losing their opening fixture to Leigh.

But with the confidence gained from the pre-season win over Fax - an 11-4 success in appalling conditions at Mount Pleasant - Karl Harrison’s right hand man is hoping they can rediscover their best form.

“We had a really good pre season, but we got beaten by Leigh, which I think knocked our confidence a bit,” said Greenwood, who watched Batley pile 60 points on Championship One whipping boys Gateshead at the weekend.

“We are capable of winning on Sunday, we know that, but we certainly need to play better than we have been doing.

“We need to win. There is a chance we could go through with a bonus point but it’s not certain.”

Batley hope to welcome back centre Danny Maun, who missed last week’s game with a knee injury, while free-scoring winger Johnny Campbell is playing again after a long-running court case.

But their two dual-registered Huddersfield players - full back Elliott Hodgson and Greg Johnson - will not feature.

Hodgson is currently injured, while Johnson - another player with ongoing legal problems - has joined Wakefield Trinity.

HALIFAX’S Northern Rail Cup fixture at Whitehaven, postponed last weekend because of a waterlogged pitch, has been rearranged for next Wednesday, March 2, with a 7pm kick off.

HALIFAX’S re-formed under 23 side opened their pre season campaign with a 28-10 loss to Oldham at a boggy Whitebank Stadium last night.

Fax, coached by first team assistant Martin Gonzalez, trailed 16-6 at the break with their points coming via a John McCoy try and conversion.

The Roughyeds pulled clear in the second half, before Setareki Talatoka scored the visitors’ second touchdown.

“It’s a start and gives us something to build on,” said Gonzalez, who takes his side to Dewsbury for a second warm up fixture a week today.