NEW BOSS Matt Diskin admits Batley Bulldogs have been brought back down to earth.
After winning their three pre-season games, Bulldogs suffered a 44-6 defeat at Toulouse Olympique in Kingstone Press Championship round one.
Diskin reckons that was a wake-up call for players who he has warned can’t expect to win games this year simply because they did well last season.
“Some of the players are riding the success of last year and they were really brought back down to earth,” he said.
“When the players buy into what we are doing they are exceptional, but when they go away from that they look exceptionally poor.”
Last weekend’s result underlined the promoted French side’s credentials as a force in the second tier this year, but also highlighted areas Batley must improve if they are to secure a second successive top-four finish.
“With the issues and obstacles of the travel, they are going to get a lot of results over there,” Diskin said of Toulouse.
“They play some fantastic rugby and there’s no excuses from us. Our preparation and training was good, but a number of people reverted to trait.
“We didn’t deliver what we’ve practiced and that was the most disappointing thing from a coaching point of view. It didn’t resemble anything we’ve done in the pre-season games or the training we’ve had.
“That wasn’t because of massive Toulouse pressure, it was self-inflicted. They were clinical with the exceptional number of chances we presented them with.”
Bulldogs face a tough game on Sunday at home to Halifax and then take on another of the top-four contenders, Featherstone Rovers, seven days later.