BATLEY warmed up for next Sunday’s home pre-season clash against the Giants with a comfortable 30-6 derby triumph over Dewsbury.
In the traditional festive encounter which had originally been postponed on Boxing Day because of the wintry blast, the impressive Bulldogs dominated from start to finish.
They led 14-6 at half-time with tries from Ian Preece and Gareth Moore, who also added three goals – Dewsbury’s reply came from an Austin Buchanan touchdown and Dominic Brambani conversion – and then rammed home their advantage after the interval with further tries from Mark Toohey, Preece and Daley Williams and goals from Moore.
Included in the Batley line-up were former Giants winger Alex Brown, who has moved to Mount Pleasant permanently following last season’s loan deal, and ex-Huddersfield Academy half-back Paul Mennell, who has returned to his hometown club after spending 2010 in Australia.
And both men are expected to face their old employers next weekend as the Giants play their first fixture of the New Year.
Head coach Nathan Brown will send a young side to the Mount, including winger Greg Johnson and full-back Elliot Hodgson, who will play for the Bulldogs on loan in this year’s Co-operative Championship campaign.
The Giants will, however, be at full-strength the following Sunday when they host Hull KR in Eorl Crabtree’s testimonial clash.
That match has already captured the imagination, with former Australia Test back-row forward Luke O’Donnell ready to make his Huddersfield debut.
But it could now prove even more of an eye-catching encounter with the news another former Kangaroo, Willie Mason, could make his Robins bow.
Mason, who had been linked with a potential move to the Galpharm, is set to join up with Hull KR this week following a trip to the South Pacific to secure a Tongan passport and ensure he doesn’t take an overseas quota spot at the club.
Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott has expressed his delight at the way his new club is progressing after they secured a comprehensive 40-22 triumph over Wakefield Wildcats at Headingley.