Coach Diskin boosts Batley squad with additions of Castleford loan signings

Dane Manning attempts to beat Castleford's Callum McLelland during Batley's 38-12 success over the Tigers.
Dane Manning attempts to beat Castleford's Callum McLelland during Batley's 38-12 success over the Tigers.

Batley coach Matt Diskin is looking forward to the additions of Tom Holmes and Will Maher, who joined the Bulldogs yesterday on a season long loan deal from Castleford Tigers.

Both played against Batley in last Friday’s pre-season friendly, with Holmes impressing at half-back and giant prop Maher also causing problems.

Diskin admitted it was good to see first hand what his loan signings have to offer, adding: “I thought Tom Holmes played with some nice tempo and caused us some problems on the left edge in the first half, which is encouraging from our point of view.

“Big Will Maher did some big minutes. Obviously when a big man does those minutes some of the quality drops off but he was strong in the carries.

“He will offer us some great go forward this season, whether that will be this week or a couple of weeks time and both are going to be fantastic additions to the squad.”

Maher adds considerable size to an already big Batley pack and Diskin says this will be one of his side’s main assets this season.

He added: “We have got a big strong forward pack and they are hard to handle on the slope. They chew those metres up and when teams come to Mount Pleasant they are going to have to perform to contain the pack we have got.

“Offensively the pack can take of themselves, its defensively where I need them to improve.

“There is plenty of room for improvement and if they can buy into that they are going to be very difficult to break down.”

Scotland international Dave Scott had an impressive game at full-back and bagged a couple of tries against the Tigers and is in the frame to start at Toulouse in Saturday’s opening Kingstone Press Championship game.

Diskin said: “Defensively, he took on board some of the constructive criticism he received during the week and I thought he was outstanding in controlling our numbers and where people needed to be in that defensive line.

“Offensively does not worry me too much. We played with some good width and when it dries up we are going to score plenty of tries.”