Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear admitted he was pleased with his side’s performance having pushed Featherstone Rovers close in last Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash.
Batley had an Alistair Leak second-half try disallowed, which proved costly as they went down by two points at the Big Fellas Stadium.
Speaking after the match, Kear said: “I challenged the players to back up last week’s monumental effort and effort-wise I was really pleased with them.
“I thought we lost a little patience. We tried to force a few things towards the end of the second-half but I think Featherstone will feel they’ve been in a game.
“I thought we very unfortunate with about five crucial decisions.
“Featherstone may well have got hammered in the penalty count last week but they certainly didn’t this week.
“We played really well. There’s no doubt it, it was a really good performance but we’ve come up short so we are very disappointed because we felt we’d done enough to win but obviously we hadn’t and credit to Featherstone for some of their defensive efforts.”
Having defeated Leigh in their opening game and pushed another fancied side, Featherstone, close in their first away game, things get no easier for the Bulldogs.
Kear added: “It’s going to be a tough season. Every game is a tough one.
“Our first four games, we play four of what you’d say are the top five seeds because we’ve got Sheffield and Halifax to come in the next two weeks.
“It will give us a real idea of where we are.
“At the minute, I think we can say we can compete with them but we’ve got two more big games to come up and we’ll see what happens. We’ll re-evaluate after that first month.”
Batley welcome full-timers Sheffield Eagles to Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday before travelling to Halifax on February 28.
Sheffield defeated injury hit Workington Town 42-12 in their opening game before overcoming Halifax 26-6 last Friday as the Eagles set the early season pace.