Bulldogs date will have bite

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HALIFAX’S former Batley back rower Adam Robinson is predicting a white-hot atmosphere at Mount Pleasant on Sunday as the top two sides in the Co-operative Championship go head-to-head (2.0).

Robinson was one of five Bulldogs - along with Dane Manning, Sean Hesketh, Wayne Reittie and Paul Handforth - who quit the club last autumn and followed their coach Karl Harrison across West Yorkshire to the Shay.

And their reunion with their former employers will add further spice to the first-against-second showdown, with Fax looking to open a six-point gap over John Kear’s side.

“I am sure it will be tasty, and it will be a difficult place to go, but it’s going to be enjoyable,” said Robinson, who will be looking for a second success over a former club in as many weeks after starring in the 50-22 thrashing of Dewsbury last Sunday.

“If we get the win, we’ll be a bit clear at the top and I think that would help us to relax a little bit.

“I think they’ll be more wound up than us to be honest, just because we all left to follow Karl.

“I wonder whether some of them will be wondering why they didn’t get a chance to come.

“I have not spoken to many of them, but there is a bit of a banter going on, so it’s going to be interesting.

“John Kear’s got them going well, he’s brought a few young kids from Wakefield with him who are doing well for them and Ben Black’s obviously there as well.

“They’re strong in the middle and creative out wide.”

But Robinson believes that if Fax can build on the form of their last two outings, which saw them demolish reigning champions Featherstone before dispatching the Rams, they have what it takes to seal the win.

“I think the two Leigh games which we lost made us realise we needed to kick up a gear and we’ve scored 110 points in the two games since then,” he said.

“There’s a few little things we’ve changed and it’s coming good for us, which is very pleasing.

“Last week, we started strongly and were making good yards all the way through.

“We made quite a few chances and took most of them; we were pretty clinical.

“It was a good day at the office and hopefully we’ll have another one on Sunday.”

Catalans Dragons have signed Newcastle Knights back rower Zeb Taia on a three-year contract.

New Zealand-born Taia, 27, who played for the Kiwis in 2010, is the Dragons’ first recruit for 2013 and will be a straight replacement for Setaimata Sa, who is joining London Irish.