Batley Bulldogs ‘need to combat threat’ of Swinton Lions’ ‘experienced campaigner’ and former Challenge Cup winner Dec Patton

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Batley Bulldogs’ head coach Mark Moxon has admitted his side “need to combat” the “threat” of Swinton Lions’ Dec Patton when the two teams return to league action at Heywood Road on Sunday, June 16 (kick off 3pm).

The Championship took a break last week to allow the Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup finals take centre stage at Wembley.

And Moxon is hoping his side can continue from where they left off after back-to-back league victories over Bradford Bulls and Sheffield Eagles.

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However, in their way is a former Challenge Cup winner in Dec Patton, who won the famous competition in 2019 with Warrington Wolves, who has helped Swinton to four league wins, three of which have come at Toulouse, Halifax and Featherstone.

Batley Bulldogs are looking for a third consecutive win the Championship when they travel to Swinton Lions on Sunday. Photo by Paul Butterfield.Batley Bulldogs are looking for a third consecutive win the Championship when they travel to Swinton Lions on Sunday. Photo by Paul Butterfield.
Batley Bulldogs are looking for a third consecutive win the Championship when they travel to Swinton Lions on Sunday. Photo by Paul Butterfield.

Moxon said: “They are a good side and they have also beaten Widnes in the 1895 Cup as well. They have clearly got something going on there. They have beaten some really good sides away from home and they have got some really good players in there and they have got a good work ethic and some good processes.

“They are dual reg with St Helens so they are getting a sprinkling of lads from there, they have got (Denive) Balmforth on loan from Hull FC at the minute so they are adding quality all the time to compete with the best teams in the Championship, like we are.

“We have done our prep obviously, so we have got a plan which we are keeping in-house at the moment. We have got a plan where we think we can exploit them. But they have obviously got some threats themselves.

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“Dec Patton, in particular, is an experienced campaigner with a great kicking game. He is massive for them so we need to combat his threat. But it’s not just him, there are threats all over the place. Their other half (Jordan) Gibson is suspended this week so that’s a bit of a win for us. Maybe they will look to St Helens to replace him, I don’t know, we will find that out as the week goes on.

“But we have got a plan.”

He added: “It will be a competitive game but it is a game where we really want to kick on now from where we are. We had two great wins and we didn’t really want the week off.

“We had a bit of momentum and we didn’t want that to stop but the Challenge Cup gave everyone a bit of a break. We want to jump straight back onto the horse and crack on against Swinton.”

Asked if Castleford Tigers will be on hand again to help the Bulldogs, Moxon replied:

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“The initial signs are good but it is dependent on Cas. I have had a chat with Linners (Craig Lingard) already and the signs are good for at least a couple. Browny (James Brown) is going to be back this week so we might only need a couple but we’ll see how that goes.

“The dual reg works both ways so I offered the lads extra game time in the Cas reserves last Friday. Wardy (Michael Ward) has been playing a role for us where he has been coming on in the second half for a 15-20 minute blast to give us impact and he played that role particularly well against Sheffield when he came on and scored and made a big impact.

“But he said if you want me to play longer minutes I want to be prepared for that so he put his hand up to play for Cas just to get some minutes under his belt. That was credit to him and demonstrates his professionalism and his willingness to do whatever it takes for the team.”

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