“I asked for the players to be much better in terms of our execution and they delivered that today” stated a happy head coach Tim Sheens after the Robins tore apart Batley Bulldogs at The Fox’s Biscuits stadium today.
The Bulldogs crumbled like a soggy rich tea biscuit as Rovers ran in 12 tries in a ruthless display of attacking rugby league. Speedy winger Ryan Shaw led the way with a hat-trick of tries. The double barrelled duo, Jake Butler-Fleming and Zach Dockar-Clay and young Aussie Andrew Heffernan all grabbed try doubles and Robbie Mulhern and Hull FC loanee Jordan Abdull who lined up in an unfamiliar centre berth crossed the white wash. Along with 10 goals Giants loanee Jamie Ellis snapped up a ‘meat pie’ for a personal points tally of 24 points.
The Robins were on the front foot from the off, after a Dominic Brambani 40/20 attempt sailed out on the full giving the visitors to opportunity to set camp in Bulldogs territory, and Butler-Fleming rose to take Maurice Blair’s cross field kick but the Bulldogs defence managed to repel the danger, but not for long as in the next set captain Shaun Lunt managed to offload to the on rushing Mulhern who dotted the ball down, Ellis kicking his 1st of the afternoon.
Moments later Sam Smeaton knocked on after a thunderous James Greenwood hit and from the resultant scrum Jamie Ellis’ cut out ball found Shaw to stroll in for his 1st of the afternoon, Ellis unable to convert. The excellent Ben Cockayne then pulled off a try saving tackle on Danny Cowling and was on hand moments later to take a telling inside pass from Liam Salter shoot through a gap and put the supporting Heffernan over unopposed, and Ellis added the extras. Ellis was heavily involved in Rovers’ next score as he dummied his way through the Bulldogs weary defence but putting boot to ball and a brilliant pick up and pass from the impressive Greenwood to the supporting Abdull over again Ellis converted and the Robins were scoring at a point a minute at 24-0.
The rampant Robins were destroying the Bulldogs especially on their left edge, Cockayne sailed through a gap of a lovely short Ellis pass to feed the speedster Heffernan who handed on to the ever willing Dockar-Clay to get his 1st of the day, Ellis on target again. Cockayne was the instigator of Shaw’s 2nd of the afternoon with a well timed cut out pass but the angle was too difficult for Ellis to tag the two, but he did 3 minutes later after Heffernan grabbed his 2nd after quick hands from Blair and Cockayne to send the Robins in at the break 38-0 up.
Ellis then opened the scoring in the 2nd 40 after good work again from Greenwood who’s final pass found the scrum half to go under the sticks and turn 4 into 6. The Robins had to wait a full nine minutes to trouble the scorers again when Butler-Fleming pounced on a poor Batley kick to scoot 80 metres down field to plant the ball, Ellis brought up the half century with the conversion. The demoralised Bulldogs were again punished from a poor kick when Cockayne returned easily upfield linking with Butler-Fleming twice before the full back slipped out the pass to Shaw (pictured) to complete his hat-trick, Ellis once again successful with the extras.
Dockar-Clay from dummy half grabbed the next try for the Robins inside the last 10 minutes and Ellis kicked the two. Batley finally breached the outstanding defensive effort of the Robins when Michael Hayward squeezed in to register the hosts only points of the day. Clearly annoyed with the breach, the Robins through Abdull and Greenwood forced a Batley fumble and Ellis picked up the pieces, handed onto Heffernan then Abdull who supplied Butler-Fleming to go in at the corner. Ellis banged over his 10th goal of the afternoon to wrap up a 4-68 win in front of Batley’s largest home crowd of the year, swelled again by the travelling red & white fans.
A very satisfying performance to take into the televised Challenge Cup tie at high flying Super League Salford Red Devils on Friday night. A chance for Sheens’ men to exact a little revenge on the side that sent them down.