Sheffield Eagles v Batley Bulldogs: Matt Diskin urges players to seize opportunity of a lifetime
BATLEY BULLDOGS’ players have been urged to seize what could be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.
The Betfred Championship minnows will book an appearance at Wembley if they beat hosts Sheffield Eagles in an 1895 Cup semi-final tomorrow (2pm).
During the summer era Bulldogs were Trans-Pennine Cup victors in 1998, Northern Rail Cup winners in 2010 and Championship beaten Grand Finalists three years later. Further back, Batley won the Challenge Cup in 1897, 1898 and 1901, as well as being Yorkshire Cup winners in 1912-13 and league champions in 1923-24, but the club has never been involved in a Wembley final.
Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings are the other semi-finalists and Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin insisted: “We are ready for it.”
He said: “All four teams left in are going to be up for it, 80 minutes from Wembley.
“We are no different.
“This competition, for our level of rugby, is massive.
“Some of these boys will never, ever get the opportunity of being as close to playing at Wembley as they are now.
“Our biggest task this week is making them realise the opportunity they’ve got in front of them. The intensity has been good and we have been training exceptionally well.
“From what I have seen so far they are definitely pumped and ready for a game.
“I just hope they can deliver on controlling the ball and maintaining discipline because the way we play, if we can do those two things we will score points and we’ll be in the game at the end.”
Batley are 10th in the Betfred Championship, three places and 11 points behind Eagles.
Diskin admitted: “We are underdogs and rightly so.
“The last two times we’ve played them they have truly embarrassed us. We have produced some of our worst performances and they were exceptionally sharp. But we know what we are capable of.
“We are where we are in the league because we make too many errors and we are ill-disciplined.
“We know if we tidy those two areas up we can compete with any team in the league. Hopefully we can do that for 80 minutes on Sunday.”