BATLEY head coach Matt Diskin says that his side will need to perform “at 100 per cent” to cause an upset this weekend.
The Bulldogs travel to Halifax, who finished in the top four in the Championship last season, and Diskin believes his side have to be more clinical to have a chance of victory.
Opportunities came and went in a similarly tough challenge last week, when Featherstone Rovers pulled away in the second half for a comfortable 42-14 win.
“When they got a little bit quicker we tried to slow them down and some indiscipline burned us, along with some schoolboy errors,” Diskin reflected.
“In the first half we did have opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of those, and come the second half they played at a different intensity.
“Their full-time boys were just at a different level and we really struggled to handle them.
“There are positives; we had opportunities but we have to start taking them.
“It’s the same thing I’ve been saying all the way through pre-season and in the first couple of games, we’ve got to start taking the opportunities that we’re creating for ourselves.
“Against the better teams you don’t get many of them and if you let them go, they can come back and burn you, and that’s happened in the first couple of games.”
And it won’t be any easier against Halifax on Sunday (kick-off 3pm). Diskin is well aware of how strong a side Batley will be up against.
Fax picked up an impressive win at home to Leigh Centurions last weekend, following defeat at Widnes Vikings in the opening round.
“Watching the game against Widnes they played some good rugby, and (against) Leigh they were very dominant,” said Diskin.
“They’ve utilised their top four finish and the money that brings quite well in the off-season and they’ve recruited quality, which is out of the reach of teams like Batley.
“But we’ve reviewed them and we believe we’ve seen some flaws in what they are doing, as we do with every team, and I am confident that if my team can actually carry out that gameplan and take advantage of the flaws that they’ve shown then we’ll be in a good position at the end of the game.
“We’ve got to be at 100 per cent to make sure that we get the win against these top teams.
“You can’t afford to have any moments off and get caught as we have over the last few weeks.”
The Bulldogs will have to do without three key players at the Shay though.
Louis Jouffret will serve a one-match suspension, meaning that Danny Yates will come into the halves from the start after making his league debut off the bench last weekend.
Their forward pack has been dented by a thumb injury to Tyler Dickinson, with the former Huddersfield man awaiting scan results, while Michael Ward is unavailable due to other commitments.
“We are testing the depth of the squad this week.
“But as I’ve said before, any of the boys that come in, I’m confident in the quality that they’ve got, so we shouldn’t really see a drop in performance.
“Those boys are biting at the opportunity to get into the team so I’m sure they’ll take advantage of it this week.”