DISAPPOINTED COACH Matt Diskin felt his Batley Bulldogs side were on the wrong end of some harsh penalty decisions in their 40-14 home defeat by Featherstone Rovers.
Batley led 12-0 early in the Betfred Championship clash and were 14-10 ahead at the break, but had Jason Crookes sin-binned and lost the penalty count 10-7.
“The officials don’t drop balls and don’t miss tackles and we had plenty of those today,” Diskin said. “But what they do is when they are weak with the whistle in the middle they gift field position to teams.
“Gifting field position to teams like Featherstone is sacrilege really. I think we were a little bit harsh on the back end of that whistle, but I am really proud of my boys.
“We had three or four missing because of illness, three or four missing because of injury and two or three who shouldn’t have been pulling a shirt on.
“I’m proud of the effort and character they showed.”
Rovers did not go ahead until 11 minutes into the second half and scored four tries in the final quarter. Diskin added: “We were a bit mentally weak at the end to let the score blow out.
“The scoreline doesn’t reflect the game. We were in it for long parts and I actually think we threw the game away rather than it was won by Fev, which is the frustrating thing.”
Rovers are third in the table after their fourth successive league win. Coach John Duffy admitted he did not expect his team to score 40 points away to Batley and he reflected: “It is a massive achievement for us.
“Credit to the boys, they performed when they needed to.
“We had a shaky start, we knew they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us in the first half, coming downhill.
“That’s why we chose to go uphill in the first half. We weathered the storm, we could have handled it a bit better, but our goal line D [defence] was superb. We have got to take that forward now, because it’s an area we’ve not been too great at.”
Rovers had to reshuffle when full-back Ian Hardman withdrew just before kick-off due to illness.
“We coped with that really well, Tom [Holmes] was classy at full-back,” said Duffy, who rested former England forward Gareth Hock.