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Bulldogs receive well earned break

Michael Ward made a big impact coming off the bench and scored a try in Batley's emphatic 46-22 victory over Toulouse.
Michael Ward made a big impact coming off the bench and scored a try in Batley's emphatic 46-22 victory over Toulouse.

Batley Bulldogs players have been handed a week off by coach Matt Diskin after putting in a magnificent effort in playing four games in the space of 16 days.

The Bulldogs rounded off a hectic Easter period with a resounding 46-12 victory over full-time opponents Toulouse Olympique at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium last Saturday.

With Easter victories over Dewsbury and Sheffield during that period, Batley have moved into seventh place in the Championship table and, with no game this Sunday due to the Challenge Cup, Diskin has rewarded his squad with a few days off.

The coach said: “We came in on Monday and reviewed the session and had a bit of alternate training. They were doing a bit of yoga and some ballet on Monday night just to get rid of a bit of the soreness and to leave on a high.

“Coming off the back of Easter, the boys showed real character. They are full of bumps and bruises and we have walking wounded.

“The players have earned some rest, so I’m giving them a few days off and they are going to have it and enjoy some time with their families, recover and get back to it the week after.”

Saturday’s display to overwhelm full-time opponents Toulouse was arguably the best during Diskin’s reign as coach as the Bulldogs ran in eight tries and played some scintillating rugby.

There were a number of stand out performances by the Bulldogs as Jason Crookes scored a hat-trick of tries, Brad Day crossed twice, the second of which rounded off the impressive win as he gathered Crookes’s cheeky kick inside.

Michael Ward came off the bench to make another big impact and he bagged a 46th minute try with a powerful drive between the posts.

Alistair Leak and Shaun Ainscough were the other try scorers, while Izaac Farrell landed seven out of nine goals in the absence of Patch Walker.

Joel Farrell produced a big forwards display coming off the bench, while Batley’s half-backs dictated play and were at the hub of their best moves.

Diskin added: “I thought (Izaac Farrell) was really good and we always said that when the pitches dried up we would see the best of him.

“He was really good and from the last time he was with us I thought he showed maturity. He controlled his kicking game at the end of the sets and he was really selective with his passing, I thought him and Dom Brambani were really good.”