Batley Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin and Dewsbury Rams counterpart Lee Greenwood gave their reaction to last week’s traditional Boxing Day derby clash.
Batley retained the Roy Powell Trophy thanks to a 16-10 victory but there were positives for Greenwood’s new-look Rams to take from the game.
Diskin was pleased to secure the derby bragging rights but realises there is plenty of improvements for his side to make before the Championship season begins at the start of February.
Diskin said: “Everything we take part in we want to win. The performance was okay but I don’t think we got out of second gear at any point.
“The first half defensively we were very good and the second half with the ball we were a bit scrappy but we were in second gear all the way through which means when we start to move up a level we will start to see some big improvements.”
Paul Brearley, Archie Bruce and Callum Ogden featured for Batley on Boxing Day and the trio are been handed a trial with the Bulldogs with a view to signing deals after pre-season.
Diskin added: “They got a fair crack of it (on Boxing Day) and will continue to in the friendlies.
“They have been with us all the way through and will continue to be until we make a decision on them at the end of January.
“They are good kids and have fitted into the group really well and I thought they gave good accounts of themselves.
“They will get a fair shot in the friendlies and hopefully they can earn themselves a deal.
“They have bought into what we are doing really well and its up to them to earn it.
“The lack of A teams leaves a big hole in the game but we are trying to find a solution to that by bringing these kids in while putting other lads on development programmes, while they have amateur commitments.”
Greenwood took charge of the Rams for the first time and while he knows there is plenty for his new-look side to work on, there were positives to take from the game.
Greenwood said: “It was almost like a new team coming together and we were switching people’s positions as the game went on and I knew it was going to be a bit messy.
“We showed pretty much nothing with ball in hand but it was sort of our intention to do that really I just wanted us to be defensively tough and hard to beat.
“We started off pretty poorly and we dropped the ball the first four times we had it.
“We conceded pretty much straight away on the second set and then two guys got head cuts as well and then we lost another one straight after so it was a funny start.
“Some people surprised me in a good way and others in not such a good way.
“I thought the best team won on the day and they look like a team going into their third season with the same coach and we looked like a team who have got a new coach.
“We didn’t show much with the ball and it was a bit scrappy with us just trying to barge over the line but I knew it was going to be like that.
“I thought a couple of lads stepped up really well to be fair. They are not the finished articles but transferred what they have been doing in training to a game, which was pleasing.
“If Ryder scores instead of doing what he did, we could have snatched a draw but overall the second half was a lot more positive than the first.
“It’s really easy then when you fall behind by a couple of scores and you are playing uphill to fall away and get beat comfortably so as a neutral watching that is probably what you thought would happen but fair play to the lads we probably looked stronger in the second half.
“We never wilted away in the second half playing up the slope and if anything as the game went on longer we were looking a bit stronger and probably would have carried on getting stronger.”