“We showed a real lack of respect for the ball” laments Batley Bulldogs boss Matt Diskin after 1895 Cup semi-final defeat at Sheffield Eagles

Batley Bulldogs coach, Matt Diskin. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Batley Bulldogs coach, Matt Diskin. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

BOSS MATT Diskin admitted Batley Bulldogs were their own worst enemy in their 1895 Cup defeat at Sheffield Eagles.

While Eagles can begin preparations for a Wembley date on Coral Challenge Cup final afternoon, Bulldogs were left to lick self-inflicted wounds.

“Errors killed us,” Diskin conceded following Batley’s 18-2 defeat.

“You can have the best systems and structures, but if you can’t keep hold of the ball you’ve got no chance.”

Batley had an early opportunity when Wayne Reittie was tackled into touch just short, but spent most of the rest of the game on the defensive and managed only a Louis Jouffret penalty goal late in the first half which sent them in 6-2 behind.

“We were terrible, we showed a real lack of respect for the ball,” Diskin added.

“We had no field position.

“In the whole game I think we had four sets inside the Sheffield 20.

“You can’t win games like that.”

It was a familiar story for Bulldogs who now have to focus on retaining their place in the Betfred Championship.

Diskin noted: “We are making error after error after error every week.

“They are not errors through over-playing or trying to force the ball.

“They are basic errors that individuals have to concentrate and switch on with.”

The positive for Batley was their defensive effort, particularly in the second half when they withstood waves of pressure before finally cracking 14 minutes from the end.

Eagles finished with three tries, all converted by former Batley marksman Pat Walker and Diskin felt that was credit to his team’s defence.

“I thought with the amount of ball we gave away Sheffield should have put 40 or 50 points on us,” Diskin reflected.

“We scrambled really hard and stuck to structures and defended exceptionally well, but they do that and then give the ball away in their own 20 or 30-metre area.

“You can’t do that. It doesn’t matter how good you are defensively, if you keep gifting field position to the opposition they are going to score.”