Batley Bulldogs v Halifax RL: Fax date a test for 'Dogs says Greenwood

NEWLY installed Batley assistant coach Lee Greenwood believes the Bulldogs can be a title threat in the 2011 Co-operative Championship.

But he concedes their ability to blunt Halifax's attacking edge in Sunday's pre-season date at Mount Pleasant (3.0) will be a key indicator of their potential.

"We beat every team in the competition last season at some stage apart from the top two: Halifax and Featherstone," said Greenwood, the recently retired former Fax winger who helped Karl Harrison's side enjoy a stellar 2010, with an against-the-odds Northern Rail Cup victory over Widnes securing the club's first trophy success for 58 years and setting up this weekend's 'champions of champions' contest.

"We went pretty close against both of them, and we were a team who were capable of beating anyone on our day, but I think the players probably sat back a little bit after the Northern Rail final.

"That was such a big thing for the club it was hard not to and we didn't kick on as much as we should have.

"This season, we all know we should be up there in the play offs at the end of the year, but to do that we need to improve our defence and be more consistent.

"Halifax will be a good test for us: they've got the best running hooker in the division in Sean Penkywicz and good options elsewhere and if you don't defend well they will cut you up.

"It's a friendly but it's a game we want to win.

"If we do that, it will give us more confidence when we play them in the league."

Greenwood, who has built an impressive amateur coaching CV with Siddal in recent seasons, hung up his boots in the autumn after being offered the chance to work alongside Harrison, a former Super League coach of the year.

"It's not a bad apprenticeship," said the 30 year old.

"I've not really enjoyed playing that much over the last three or four years and my form has suffered as a result.

"I've got ambitions to coach at a higher level and at the moment there are no regrets."

Leeds prop Jamie Peacock admits that he still has "quite a way to go" before he can consider a return from injury.

The England captain missed the latter half of the 2010 season - including the Challenge Cup final and Four Nations - after damaging knee ligaments against Castleford in August.

Peacock was ruled out for six to eight months, meaning he initially had a slim chance of being fit around the start of the 2011 engage Super League season in February.

But the 33-year-old now realises that he still has a long way to travel on the road to recovery, although he hopes to be playing again in May.

"I've got quite a way to go yet, obviously I had my operation in September," said Peacock.

"I've been rehabbing my knee for four months but there's still probably another four months to go, so I'm at the midway point at the moment."

He added: "You have good days and bad days, there's no in between. Some days you have great days where you think, 'Maybe I'll be back early'.

"Other days you have bad days, where your leg's sore and you think, 'Maybe I'm not going to come back as quickly as possible'.

"It's just about finding the positives on the bad day and making sure you have a good day next time round."