SOME ROUGH edges still need to be smoothed out, but boss Matt Diskin reckons Batley Bulldogs are in good shape with just 11 days to go until the new season.
Bulldogs, who finished third in the Kingstone Press Championship last year, face a tough opener away to promoted Toulouse Olympique on Saturday, February 4. That will be Diskin’s first competitive game in charge, but after wins in both their pre-season games so far he is feeling optimistic about Batley’s chances of hitting the ground running.
Bulldogs beat League One visitors Keighley Cougars 38-12 two days ago and Diskin said: “We went okay, we improved a bit from Boxing Day [against Dewsbury Rams]. There’s still some rough edges to some of the things we are doing, but plenty of positives to take from it.”
Batley ran in seven tries – all to different scorers – but Diskin admitted: “It was hard to get a bit of fluency because I made a lot of changes.
“We were clinical when we got opportunities, but we need to sort our lines of running out a bit more.
“I thought we were capable of putting more points on the board.”
Diskin was more pleased with his team’s defensive effort, which restricted Keighley to two touchdowns.
“Structurally we were good,” he said.
“We limited them to one try from a kick in the first half, which our winger should have dealt with.
“In the second half they scored late on through some weak contact, but other than that we were pretty strong defensively.
“That’s encouraging because we’ve done a lot of work on it.”
Batley complete their pre-season campaign on Friday when Castleford Tigers visit Mount Pleasant.