Batley Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin and Dewsbury counterpart Neil Kelly believe their respective sides have plenty to work on as they build up towards the new Championship season.
Batley scored three tries in the final quarter to seal a 28-16 win in the traditional Boxing Day showdown but both coaches left Tetley’s Stadium with positives to take going into the new year.
Diskin, who masterminded a sixth straight Boxing Day victory for Batley, was pleased with his side’s efforts.
Speaking after Tuesday’s game, Diskin said: “Both coaches will say it wasn’t pretty and there were plenty of errors.
“It was the first competitive game the players have had in a few months, so it was never going to be perfect.
“I was a little bit disappointed with the nature of some of the errors we made. Defensively we were a bit off the mark but I thought in the second half, we made some improvements.
“It gives us a good marker where we are at and shows us areas which need improvement and fine tuning and that is what pre-season is for. We have a month now until the start of the season and we will look to make steady improvements as we go.”
Kelly believed the 68th minute sin-binning of Aaron Brown proved costly in his side’s hopes of victory as Batley scored twice while the Rams were down to 12 men.
The Rams coach said: “I was a bit surprised the referee sin-binned Aaron Brown, because what I got from the field was that one of the Batley players punched one of the Dewsbury players but the Dewsbury player got sin-binned, which is a different interpretation to what I know of the rules.
“We were obviously disappointed to concede two tries when we were down to 12 men.
“I never really thought we were convincing with the ball when attacking (Batley’s) line but overall I’m pretty pleased.”
Batley now look towards pre-season games against Wakefield, Keighley and Doncaster, while Dewsbury face warm-up clashes at Huddersfield Giants and home to Bradford Bulls.