‘Fearless’ Bulldogs excited about Hull KR challenge

BATLEY BULLDOGS boss Matt Diskin says that his side “fear nobody” as they prepare for a tough away trip to unbeaten league leaders Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday (3pm). 

Sunday’s game will arguably be Batley’s most difficult test in this year’s Kingstone Press Championship, with Hull KR winning all seven of their league games and opening up a four-point gap at the top of the table.

The Bulldogs have had mixed form, winning four of their opening seven but they will go into Sunday’s clash full of confidence after brushing aside Oldham last weekend.

“Hull KR will class themselves as a Super League side, they will have set goals to go through the season unbeaten and we want to go there on Sunday and test that,” said Diskin.

“We are capable of competing with and beating most teams in this division and we have no fear about how we go about our business.

“We are gradually getting better and we will go to Hull KR and we will play our brand of rugby and see where it gets us. It is going to be tough but we are excited about it.”

Diskin believes Batley are moving in the right direction after they scored a half-century of points against Oldham at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday.

The former Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls star feels that the team showed in glimpses what they are capable of producing this season.

He said: “We showed in small glimpses what we were capable of with the ball, I thought defensively we lapsed a few times, however overall I thought we were very solid.

“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, I just want to play a more exciting brand of rugby. The game in general has become quite boring to watch at times.

“There are times when you need to grind it out but I want us to play a little more, it is not going to happen overnight but the halves are starting to recognise what we want from them.”

Batley face a challenging few weeks as they play Hull KR, London, Rochdale and  Dewsbury twice – in the traditional Good Friday Heavy Woollen derby before backing up against them a week later in the Challenge Cup.

Diskin only wants his players to focus on the games one at a time as he feels that there are no easy fixtures this year.

He said: “Week to week each game is important, it is one of the toughest Championships we have had for a long time, it has been quite open.

“Oldham have played well this season, we did things the way we wanted to but we cannot afford to take our eye of the ball and look three or four weeks down the line.”

Batley will be without several key names for Sunday’s game after the squad picked up a few injuries in the win over Oldham.

Joel Farrell is waiting for the results of a scan on his knee, Alistair Leak has picked up a knock to the leg, Danny Cowley has a cut above the eye and Sam Smeaton is also carrying a knock that could see him ruled out of Sunday’s game.

However Diskin is still confident that there is enough depth in the squad for Batley to go to Hull KR and get a positive result.

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