COACH Matt Diskin believes that his side’s discipline, combined with a questionable refereeing performance, cost Batley Bulldogs the Yorkshire Cup.
Batley matched Bradford Bulls with two tries each in the final at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, with only a penalty separating the sides as the visitors claimed the trophy.
The match featured plenty of typical Yorkshire biff, with five yellow cards shown over the course of the game by referee Tom Grant, including three for the Bulldogs.
Despite falling just short, Diskin has no doubt that his side were the better team in the game.
“The old cliché is that the best team lost. I thought that we were the best team all day long,” he said.
“A little bit of ill-discipline cost us. It’s easy to blame the referee and I do blame him for a couple of poor decisions, particularly the Toby Everett (sin binning for a high tackle), that was a really poor decision which turned the momentum.
“It’s a shame that the man who has such an influence on the game doesn’t need it as it was a great spectacle without it.
“My boys were ill-disciplined but also the man in the middle lost control of that and it had a snowball effect. So he needs a bit of help and we need to be better.”
Diskin also took issue with what turned out to be the crucial try for the Bulls, calling for a forward pass when Ethan Ryan touched down nine minutes from time.
Overall though, the former Bulls hooker could be more than pleased with the effort that his Batley side put in against opposition made up largely of full-time players.
“We played the majority of the second half against a full-time team and they struggled to break us down,” he said.
“We made them work for it and I thought we were the best team throughout. Our boys are gutted because we deserved more out of that game.
“It does mess you up a little bit when you’ve got 20 players and you’re trying to give everyone game time. It is hard to juggle as a coach and as players, but we wanted to win that and I thought we deserved to. I think we were really unlucky to be on the losing side.”
Despite not getting his hands on the trophy, Diskin believes that the resurrection of the Yorkshire Cup as a pre-season tournament has been a big success after over 2,000 fans descended on Mount Pleasant to watch the final.
“It’s a great crowd, a good final and I think it was really good that it was here as well. It was nice and close (and had) a really good atmosphere,” he said.
“I think you can see how people have bought into the Yorkshire Cup concept. It’s easy for the teams that have dropped out early to just water it down. We’ve approached it and been competitive in every game, and I think we’re very unfortunate not to do better.”