Bulldogs can rise to big Rovers test

In form: Bulldogs prop Adam Gledhill drives at the Oldham defence in Sundays impressive victory.
In form: Bulldogs prop Adam Gledhill drives at the Oldham defence in Sundays impressive victory.

Batley Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin is confident his side will rise to the challenge in their toughest game of the season when they travel to unbeaten leaders Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday (ko 3pm).

Rovers have begun their bid to bounce straight back to Super League in impressive fashion by winning their opening six games in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Batley themselves have hit form in the last two matches, earning impressive wins away to Toulouse before racking up a half century against Oldham last week.

Diskin admits his side still have plenty of improvements to make but is relishing the chance to lock horns with the promotion favourites.

Diskin said: “We will go there full of confidence and go try play some rugby and see where it takes us.

“We genuinely don’t fear anyone in the competition. Hull KR have just come down from Super League. They are a Super League club, with a Super League set up and full-time players. It is a tough task but we are going to go there and try play some rugby.

“The exciting thing is there is plenty more improvement from us. We have shown glimpses of what we’re capable of with the ball but once we nail it we are going to be an exciting team to watch.”

Batley ran in nine tries in a 50-10 victory over Oldham as they moved up to fifth place in the early Championship table.

Diskin was pleased with his side’s best display of the season but knows there is more to come and added: “We scored 24 points in the first half but we didn’t really play that much rugby.

“In the second half we showed glimpses of how we are wanting to play this year.

“We have some big strike players out wide and we know if we can get them into space or one-on-one with people, they can be a handful.

“Dom Brambani was back in the team and his kicking game was outstanding and Patch Walker brought a really calming influence to the game and everyone around him and continued on from the great performance he had in Toulouse.”

Second row Brad Day limped out of the pre-match warm-up and missed the Oldham match but Diskin is confident he will be fit for Sunday’s trip to Craven Park.

Diskin explained: “Brad Day’s hamstring tightened up in the warm-up and was tweaking

“We pulled him out because that is better than him missing four or five games as he is too big a player for that but he should be available for selection this week.”