Doncaster RLFC: Cooke questions Dons’ desire

Paul Cooke
Paul Cooke

Doncaster find themselves six points away from safety at the midway point of the regular Championship campaign following their 40-6 defeat at Halifax on Sunday and Whitehaven’s win at Batley.

Coach Paul Cooke was particularly unhappy with the club’s first half display which saw them trail 28-0 at the break.

“Our first half performance just wasn’t good enough and I told the players that at half-time,” he said. “We came out in the second half and had a dig but we shouldn’t have to wait that long for it to happen.

“It wasn’t what we did with the ball; it was about the desire and attitude to defend and I didn’t see that in the first half.

“We saw it in the second half, which we only lost 12-6 and they scored their second try right at the end.

“It didn’t help that we had to make five changes after what was arguably our best attacking performance of the season against Bradford the week before.

“That obviously had an impact on the players’ belief, but regardless of who played, they’ve got an obligation to me and the club to show up.

“As I say, it looked to me in the first half that there were some out there with no attitude or desire to defend. You can work on technique as much as you want, but players have to have the desire to want to defend and make tackles.

“It’s not very often that I question the players’ attitude and desire to be on a rugby field but I did at half-time.”

The Dons, who have now lost all 12 league and cup games this season, take on Sheffield Eagles on Friday.