Super League: Bradford Bulls' Matt Diskin points to mental fatigue

Last Updated: 21/06/14 7:13am

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Matt Diskin: Admits the Bulls are in a bad place

Matt Diskin: Admits the Bulls are in a bad place

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Bradford caretaker coach Matt Diskin blamed mental fatigue for his relegation-threatened club's current plight, which worsened with their 44-18 home defeat by Hull KR.

Diskin stepped into the breach following the sacking of head coach Francis Cummins and his assistant Lee St Hilaire and, after starting the match, largely took on a watching brief as the Bulls conceded eight tries.

"Once again it was really frustrating," Diskin said. "I thought we started the game really positively and played some decent rugby early on.

"Mathematically it's still achievable but we're relying on other people not performing and Wakefield in particular. We'll try our best each week as we do and hope for the best."
Diskin on relegation

"But every time we worked our way into the game, we made errors that shouldn't be made at this level of rugby. That's the sort of stuff you see by kids on a Sunday morning.

"We're making those errors week in, week out, which shows that these guys are a bit mentally fatigued, which is understandable. They're like the bullied kid at school, when enough is enough."

Diskin admits he has taken on the role with reluctance after publicly criticising the club for their decision to part company with the previous coaching duo and is hoping they will appoint a permanent successor in time for next week's trip to Warrington.

"It was a real different experience," he said. "I'm not hiding it, I was reluctant to do it because you're stepping in on the back of two quality people who held this team together through adversity for the last couple of years.

"But I enjoyed it. I spent many hours in preparation this week. We trained really well but we've got a problem in transferring what we do on the training field into a game."

Bradford's defeat leaves them eight points adrift of Wakefield with just 10 matches left of the First Utility Super League to preserve their top-flight status.

"We're in a bad place," Diskin said. "Mathematically it's still achievable but we're relying on other people not performing and Wakefield in particular. We'll try our best each week as we do and hope for the best."

Counter-attack

A 20th-minute try from winger Elliot Kear enabled Bradford to cancel out Travis Burns' early score for the visitors but Bradford's inability to turn pressure into points proved fatal as Rovers scored twice on the counter-attack before half-time through Josh Hodgson and Kris Welham to establish an 18-6 lead.

Full-back Greg Eden and centre Craig Hall then both touched down twice in the second half as the Robins ran away with the game, although the Bulls' late rally brought consolation tries for Danny Addy and Adam O'Brien.

It was a much-needed win for Hull KR, who were without four senior forwards through injury and two other players for disciplinary reasons.

"Mathematically it's still achievable but we're relying on other people not performing and Wakefield in particular. We'll try our best each week as we do and hope for the best."
Craig Sandercock

"We were down on troops tonight," coach Craig Sandercock said. "It was a really good response from the boys in a good, tough contest.

"We knew there would be a positive reaction from Bradford after what happened this week and they started well. They put us under a lot of pressure but defensively we showed a lot of resolve on our own line.

"We were under the pump but defensively we were much improved."

Sandercock declined to comment on speculation linking Josh Hodgson with a move to Canberra Raiders in 2015 but confirmed that Jonny Walker and Wayne Ulugia were dropped for Friday night's game.

"They've been stood down for disciplinary reasons, that's all I can say at the moment," Sandercock said.

Already without Justin Poore, Kevin Larroyer, Jordan Cox and Jamie Langley, Rovers may have suffered another injury blow with the loss of loose forward Neville Costigan with a knee problem.

"He couldn't go back on so he's a concern," Sandercock said. "He will go for scans first thing in the morning. We'll cross our fingers because we've got enough players missing."

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