BATLEY BULLDOGS coach Matt Diskin believes his side can challenge any team in the division if they match the performance shown last weekend.
They were beaten at play-off contenders Halifax by just two points, but were the dominant side in the contest for the majority of the game.
However they remain winless after three games in the 2019 campaign, and come up against another side yet to get off the mark on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) in Rochdale Hornets.
Batley have beaten their opponents in each of the last seven meetings as well as the last five at home, with Rochdale failing to win at Mount Pleasant since 2007.
However, the Hornets come to West Yorkshire with a new head coach in Carl Forster, and Diskin is confident his side can produce the goods if they match last week’s efforts.
“I think if we play as we did in the second half (at Halifax) against anyone in this league we’ll give them a run for their money, whether that’s Rochdale or anybody else,” he said.
“Rochdale haven’t picked up any points yet and they’ll be looking to do that this week.
“It will be interesting to see how the new coach approaches it, but we’ve got to concentrate on what we can control as a group and not what’s brought to us by Rochdale.”
Diskin reflected that the Bulldogs were “desperately unlucky” to come away with nothing at their West Yorkshire rivals last weekend.
“I thought we were the best team for the majority of the game, and to be 18-0 down at half-time was very unfortunate with two tries against the grain and then the intercept at the end,” he said.
“In the second half we showed a lot of character to fight our way back into the game and I felt we deserved something out of it.
“With the ball we’ve still got a bit of work to do. The few tries we did get were really good but we’re not doing that regularly enough, so we’ll continue to work on being more clinical with the ball.”
Diskin admitted that he gave his players “a gentle reminder of what they needed to be doing” after failing to take their chances in the first half.
“(In the) second half they addressed that and for a 15-minute spell we were really clinical with the ball.
“We lost our way a little bit towards the back end again, but we’ve shown when it clicks that we’ve got some real quality there, we just need to be doing it more regularly.”