BATLEY BULLDOGS head coach Matt Diskin has called for the game to take a lighter approach to clashes between players after two early red cards in their game last Sunday.
They ran out 36-0 winners over Hunslet at Odsal to reach the Yorkshire Cup semi-finals, but both sides played 70 minutes with 12 men after Richard Moore and Batley’s Joe Taira were dismissed.
In a frequently heated game, their bout of fisticuffs in the middle of the pitch was dealt with strongly by referee Cameron Worsley, but Diskin wants to see such incidents shown a lighter touch by officials.
“You’ve got two prop forwards coming together, let them a swing a couple! We want to see a bit of that every now and again,” he said.
“Give them a yellow card, a red card spoils the game. In any fixture it spoils the game. You’ve got two full-blooded prop forwards coming together, who doesn’t want to see them have a swing at each other every now and then?
“I do, and everybody else does. Let them have a go, get them on the bench then let them come back on. I don’t see the point of a red card, I think it spoils the game.
“It’s become a really sterilised game at the moment at all levels, which is disappointing.”
The Bulldogs were comfortable winners in the end, and their coach was most pleased at keeping the opposition scoreless.
“Defensively to come away with zero, no matter what the level of rugby you play, is really important,” said Diskin.
“I thought we defended quite comfortably all game. I thought in the first five minutes we were very good and after that it was a really scrappy game, but we did show glimpses of real class with some of the tries we scored.
“It got a bit scrappy for multiple reasons. We made quite a few changes, usually en masse rather than filling them in like we will do in the season, because we want to give everyone a fair crack.
“The trialists put in another good show, particularly Paul Brearley who I thought was very good, a tall back rower.
“So you’re making a lot of changes and it’s hard to maintain your fluency when you’re doing that, but I thought the boys did okay and to come away with a really good defensive display is massive.”
Diskin was able to report a clean bill of health after the game, although Alex Bretherton missed the Yorkshire Cup tie and will be on the sidelines for the rest of pre-season with a hamstring tear.
Batley have been drawn against newly-promoted Championship side York City Knights in this Sunday’s (January 13) semi-final.
York comfortably saw off amateur side Hunslet Club Parkside last weekend to reach this round of the competition.
The game at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium kicks off at 2pm, with tickets again priced at £15 for adults and £10 for concessions, with a £2 discount on tickets bought in advance and kids going for free.