Bulldogs aiming to claim Toulouse scalp

Brad Day dives over for Batley's third try against Toronto last Sunday.
Brad Day dives over for Batley's third try against Toronto last Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin believes his side have the capabilities of toppling one of the Betfred Championship’s full-time teams as they prepare to welcome Toulouse Olympique to Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Saturday (kick of 3pm).

Batley gave Toronto a real scare last Sunday before slipping to a 26-18 defeat and Toulouse arrive lying just a point behind the Wolfpack after the opening 10 rounds.

Diskin believes his side will continue to improve as the season progresses and knows claiming one of the big scalps in the division could provide a major confidence boost.

Diskin said: “We are going to get there and if we can pick one or two of these big teams off at home, which we are not far off doing, the season can get a bit of direction.

“The boys just need to stick with it and keep some faith in what they are doing because their attitude was fantastic.”

Diskin was frustrated at the performance of referee Tom Grant in the Toronto game and is hoping his side get a fair crack of the whip when second placed Toulouse arrive.

Diskin added: “We know there is a bias towards the full-time teams regarding the officials. We expect it next week and we expected it this week but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

“My players have worked hard and deserve to have a fair crack at it and if we get a fair crack we are going to come up trumps.”

Batley produced a superb performance against Toronto and deservedly led 12-6 at half-time after a James Harrison try and a spectacular interception effort by flying winger Wayne Reittie.

Toronto full-back Gareth O’Brien led his side’s fight back with an 11-minute hat-trick after the break to turn the game but the Bulldogs earned plenty of plaudits for their performance.

Diskin added: “There are still areas where we need to be a bit more clinical and we didn’t help ourselves at certain times with some of the options but we are getting there and we put ourselves in the right positions when against lesser opposition we are going to come up with a win.”

Toulouse have won eight and lost two of their opening 10 games and they arrive at Batley on the back of a 50-4 thrashing of Barrow last Saturday.

This will be the Bulldogs fourth game in just 14 days following a hectic Easter period which saw them secure impressive wins over Dewsbury Rams and Sheffield Eagles.