Batley Bulldogs v Rochdale Hornets: Diskin out to avoid yet another kick in the teeth

BATLEY BULLDOGS have a golden opportunity to break their duck this weekend, but boss Matt Diskin is taking nothing for granted.

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 10:30 pm
Batley's coach Matt Diskin. ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Bulldogs have lost their opening three games in the Betfred Championship and play host to another winless team, Rochdale Hornets, on Sunday (3pm).

Hornets, who have played only twice after their opening game against Dewsbury Rams was postponed, are without a win at Mount Pleasant since March, 2007 – a run of five successive home victories for Batley.

Swinton Lions are the only other team still chasing their first win and both teams will be anxious to get off the mark.

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Diskin warned: “If you look at it on paper we have got a good chance, but I am expecting a very tough Rochdale side.

“Since I have been in charge they have performed really well against us.

“It is all about us building on some positives from the last three games.

“I know it doesn’t seem like it when you have three losses, but there have been some and we need to put those into an 80-minute performance this week.”

Batley can take confidence from last Sunday’s performance at Halifax.

They were pipped 20-18 after trailing 18-0 at half-time and Diskin insisted: “We were the better team.”

He said: “They didn’t damage us structurally, two of the tries we conceded were fluke tries, you could say – a bounce of the ball and an intercept.

“There was one very well executed kick for [Ste] Tyrer, but defensively we were very good.

“To be 18 points down was a bit of a kick in the teeth, but we worked hard in the second half and put ourselves in a position where we could – and probably should – have won the game.

“Offensively we had a 15-minute patch when everything clicked, then we fell away again.

“We just have to make sure we are more clinical for 80 minutes.

“We are looking very sharp in practice and we’ve just got to carry that into the game.”

Bulldogs will be without Jonny Campbell due to concussion, but on-loan Hull prop Lewis Bienek is available after recovering from an ankle injury.