Bulldogs on guard for derby at Rams

Batley's James Brown meets Rochdale's Richard Moores face to face in Sunday's clash.
Batley's James Brown meets Rochdale's Richard Moores face to face in Sunday's clash.

Batley Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin is reading nothing into the form of rivals Dewsbury Rams ahead of tomorrow’s Good Friday derby clash at Tetley’s Stadium.

Dewsbury have lost their opening eight Championship games and are just two points above Bradford Bulls at the foot of the Kingstone Press Championship table.

Batley, in contrast, are one of three sides locked on 10 points in joint fourth place heading into the busy Easter period, which also sees the Bulldogs entertain London Broncos on Monday.

Diskin is wary the threat any derby can pose and knows his side will need to be fully focused when they travel across the valley.

Diskin said: “Dewsbury could have a new coach in charge and will be rejuvenated and local derbies are always tough.

“You can throw form straight out of the window when it comes to derbies and we know we will need to be massively improved if we are to get anything out of it. It will be a big derby game and everyone is looking forward to it.”

Diskin rested four players for the visit of Rochdale last Saturday but all come into contention for tomorrow’s lunchtime showdown.

Diskin added: “They are going to play a lot of minutes with two games in three days and I need (the players I rested) fresh and 100 per cent ready for that.

“Joel Farrell, Dane Manning, Dave Scott and Patch Walker are all available. Defensively we need to tighten up as we are shipping in way too many points and against quality sides you can’t afford to do that.”

Batley fought back from 36-22 down to score three tries in the final six minutes against Rochdale last week, to move onto 10 points in the race for a top four finish in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Diskin added: “The win will have a morale boosting affect because of the way we got it but lets not put a band aid over it, we were poor in a lot of areas.

“We knew we could chase the game and if we got down that end we could score points and six minutes is an age in sport.

“With 10 or 12 minutes left I felt we tries to overplay it when we didn’t need to but we found a way to claw our way out of it, although I don’t think we delivered what we should have done, and we can’t do that too often.”

Tomorrow’s game has a lunchtime kick off of 1pm after some unsavoury scenes in the crowd at last year’s Good Friday clash in the evening.