BULLS coach Geoff Toovey admitted victory was there for the taking after watching his Bulls side slip to another defeat at Batley yesterday.

Two points were desperately needed to rekindle already faint hopes of beating the drop in the Championship.

But former Bull Matt Diskin’s team eeked out a 23-16 win in a tight contest at Mount Pleasant, Dave Scott’s try seven minutes from time proving the crucial score.

The try of the match, finished off by Iliess Macani after great work by Jonny Campbell, had put Bulls level at 16-16 minutes earlier.

Toovey said: “The game was there to be had. We just made some poor decisions at times, too many mistakes, too many errors and there too many penalties against us.

“Against an experienced Batley side, they are going to make you pay.

“I thought we had it. We were building some pressure but we let Batley off too easily and then they scored that 60-metre try and it killed us.

“Some of the decision-making by the half-backs were poor. They are only young guys, I understand that, but again there were crucial decisions at relevant times during the match.

“It could have gone either way. I think we harshly dealt with on the penalty count but that’s the way it goes.”

Toovey had praise for the way his forwards fronted up to a more physical Batley side but felt poor defence from his back line proved costly.

The Aussie said: “Our defence was poor at times. I thought the forwards played extremely well against an experienced big Batley pack. I was very pleased with the way they went but our backs let us down a bit with some of the tries.

“There were some pushover tries against us with basic missed tackles. It’s not a hard thing to fix up. Those tries are all about attitude and we need to repair that before next week.”

Defeat leaves Bulls 11 points from safety with only 16 points left to play for. It was their 12th loss out of 13 and their ninth successive reversal on the road.

Asked how he kept the Bulls players’ spirits up, Toovey said: “It is hard but we had another good turnout from the fans which will keep us striving hard to impress them.

“A good crowd will hopefully turn up next week (at home to Swinton) and we can finish off the regular season with a good win.”