BATLEY BULLDOGS coach Matt Diskin felt Featherstone Rovers’ ability to bring in full-time players was decisive in his team’s 42-14 Betfred Championship defeat.
Rovers fielded dual-registered Leeds Rhinos players Luke Briscoe, Brad Singleton and Cameron Smith alongside loan duo Castleford Tigers’ Callum Turner and Daniel Smith, of Huddersfield Giants.
Rovers’ try scorers included overseas players Thompson Teteh, Cameron King, Ase Boas and Watson Boas – who kicked five goals – and Singleton and Cameron Smith also touched down.
Diskin said: “The imports did okay, but I thought the biggest difference was the full-time boys. Cameron Smith was outstanding and those players train and play at a different intensity and we really struggled with that.”
Diskin added: “For the scoreline to blow out like it did is really disappointing.
“I thought in the first half we were still in the game while only playing quite average.
“There were a couple of soft tries we conceded.
“But in the second half we really struggled with the pace they played with in and around the ruck area.
“You could really see the difference between the full-time and part-time element.
“Fev are in a fortunate position; they can call on the full-time boys like that and it makes a massive difference to a squad.”
It was Bulldogs’ second successive defeat following a home loss to Barrow Raiders in round one, but Diskin stressed: “We need to stay tight as a group and keep improving on the things we are doing well and correct the stuff that needs improvement.
“This group, as long as it stays tight together, will be in a good position come the end of the season. We are a positive group. It has not been a great start, but it’s a long season and there is no panic from us.”