Batley Bulldogs ‘need to recharge the batteries’ during break for 1895 Cup says Mark Moxon

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Batley Bulldogs’ head coach Mark Moxon has admitted his side will be “recharging the batteries” during the club’s week off due to the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup.

Moxon was without three “key leaders” in James Brown, Alistair Leak and Ben White for the 24-14 defeat at Barrow Raiders on Sunday, which has left the Bulldogs in 11th place in the Championship table with two wins from their first seven games.

Moxon said: “We went there without a few key players. We didn’t have our skipper in Browny, our vice-captain in Leaky and obviously Whitey who had played 109 consecutive games. He is obviously a big part of our leadership team as well.

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“A few lads were given an opportunity to hopefully take their chance. But without those key leaders I thought we lost a bit of direction in the second half when the game got away from us.

Batley Bulldogs' head coach Mark Moxon.Batley Bulldogs' head coach Mark Moxon.
Batley Bulldogs' head coach Mark Moxon.

“We were in the game at half-time and we were competitive but we didn’t play well enough in the second half.”

Asked why White had been able to break the club’s record for most consecutive appearances, Moxon replied:

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“He is just so consistent. He is consistently good but he is also resilient, and if you are resilient then you are clearly professional in how you go about your business. There will have been many weeks where I am sure he has picked up knocks but he has managed to shake them off in a week.

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“That diligence shows how professional he is and how he looks after himself away from the club. He has got a real nice temperament as well. He is really good in the group and, clearly, he can play.

“He also has utility value as he can play anywhere in the team, probably one to 13. If you asked him to play there he would play there without a problem and he would do you a good job there.”

And Moxon insists the week off will not only be good for White, recovering from an ankle injury, but also for the whole team.

He said: “He had a late fitness test on the Friday so we gave him as much time as we could because we know how important he is to us. He didn’t quite make it but he was out there strapping his ankle to see if he could get through. He was limping but he was prepared to do that for the team but he was too far away.

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“We are ready for it (the break). The lads have a full week off, ready to come back fresh. It has been a tough slog and when you are not winning every week it feels harder.

“The staff, as well, are ready for a bit of a breather. We need to recharge our batteries and get ready to go again.”