Batley’s visit to Barrow Raiders is the first step in the club’s attempt to move on from the death of young player Archie Bruce after the recent visit to Toulouse - a tragedy that rocked the sporting world.

The Bulldogs suffered thumping 64-0 home defeat at the hands of Featherstone Rovers last weekend but it was a result that had little meaning for the club or their fans.

Coach Matt Diskin explained: “It has been a tough few weeks. The scoreline is very hard to take but we as a group weren’t ready for the game. We prepared as well as we could but we were not ready either emotionally or physically.

“As a group, it has left a few scars and we need to try and prepare to move on.”

On the field, Batley flirted with relegation but eventually secured their Championship safety with victories over local rivals Dewsbury (16-10) and rock-bottom Rochdale, running up 50 points against the Hornets.

A point in the 14-14 draw with high-flyers York City Knights was the impetus that gave the Bulldogs the push they needed to climb out of trouble.

One Batley player well known to Barrow fans – mainly for his form in Sheffield colours where he made 176 appearances in two stints – is half-back Dominic Brambani who regularly proved a handful for the Raiders.

Another danger man is 31-year-old London-born winger Wayne Reittie, who has scored 74 tries in his spells at the Bulldogs.

However, the Bulldogs will be without Jack Broadbent for the tomorrow’s game. The teenage centre, who is on-loan to his home town club from Leeds, suffered a broken jaw in the big defeat by Featherstone.

With a top ten place secured, the main incentive for the Bulldogs is to avoid a repeat of the opening day result against the Raiders, who won 22-18 over in Yorkshire.

The fact is that the final hooter at tomorrow’s game cannot come soon enough. It will signal the end of a traumatic season for both clubs.