Batley Bulldogs take on London Broncos in the Betfred Championship on Saturday.
Batley coach Craig Lingard says his team can send a message to the rest of the Betfred Championship on Saturday by collecting a fifth successive win at the expense of the London Broncos (Batley 4/6, Broncos 5/4, tie 20/1 – match winner).
After an opening weekend defeat to Featherstone Rovers, the Bulldogs have steadily built a head of steam to move into third place in the early standings.
The West Yorkshire part-timers are the highest scoring side in the Betfred Championship after five rounds, their point-scoring prowess helping them to rack up impressive wins over the likes of Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings.
Having not been in the conversation when it came to top-six contenders at the start of the season, Lingard hopes the rest of the division has begun to take notice of his promising side.
The Batley boss says Saturday’s clash with the Broncos is their biggest challenge of the season so far, believing a win over a full-time outfit would be a real statement of intent.
“If we do win, we can’t hide from the fact people will be looking at us more than they are doing already,” said Lingard, who will be without in-form half-back Tom Gilmore this weekend.
“If we go five out of six and beat a full-time team then people will start to take note of us.
“That will throw its own challenges up as people will want to knock us off our pedestal and get one over on us.”
The Broncos, who are 16/1 to win the Grand Final winner, travel to the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium sitting in sixth after going three matches unbeaten, most recently seeing off Newcastle 50-30.
The two sides both the Broncos and Batley are trying to catch at the top of the Betfred Championship are Toulouse and Featherstone, who both have 100 per cent records after four games.
Toulouse, who are 8/11 to win the Grand Final, go to Whitehaven on Sunday having trounced Widnes 70-0 last weekend, while Rovers pay host to Oldham on Monday evening.