Batley Bulldogs will look to build on the positives from last Sunday’s defeat against Toulouse when they travel to Swinton Lions in the Kingstone Press Championship on Sunday.
atley led 14-6 at half-time and 20-16 midway through the second half as they produced a vastly improved performance from their defeat to Dewsbury at Summer Bash the previous week.
Two late tries eventually saw Toulouse run out 28-20 winners and defeat leaves the Bulldogs seventh in table on 12 points.
Coach Matt Diskin was far more pleased with his side’s display against the full-time French outfit and will hope the improvement continues at lowly Swinton on Sunday.
Diskin said: “We played well. The boys had a real dig and we were really unfortunate not to get the points and the old cliche ‘the best side lost’ definitely applied in this case.
“I thought defensively we were very, very good.
“We controlled the ruck area really well. We had just a small blip at the start of the second half and they caught us.”
Diskin added: “There were a couple of little lapses of concentration and a couple of freak tries – a bounce of the ball here and there. When things aren’t going your way they don’t go your way, but we were unfortunate.”
The Bulldogs will be without club captain Dominic Brambani for the trip to Swinton.
He serves a one-match ban after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw, which put him in the sin bin during the Summer Bash defeat to Dewsbury a fortnight ago.
Batley will hope influential back row man Joel Farrell has recovered from a hamstring injury, which kept him out of last week’s game against Toulouse, while powerful centre Jason Crookes is awaiting his first Bulldogs appearance following his switch from Dewsbury Rams.
Batley have won just one of their last six games but there were signs against Toulouse that they could be about to turn the corner.
Swinton are back in 10th place, just two points above the relegation zone but they go into Sunday’s game buoyed by last week’s 26-4 victory over Oldham.
Batley supporters have fond memories of their last visit to Swinton’s home of Sale Rugby Union Club, as they clinched a place in the Qualifiers at Heywood Road last season.