Dons’ early season promise de-railed by injuries

Gary Thornton

Gary Thornton

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Doncaster RLFC coach Gary Thornton bemoaned the number of injuries in his squad after they recorded a third straight defeat in all competitions on Sunday.

The Dons were well beaten 24-12 at the Keepmoat Stadium by London Skolars in the iPro Sport Cup.

Thornton said this week his side are desperate to get bodies back fit before their clash with North Wales in League One on Sunday.

“First and foremost we really need to get bodies back in,” said Thornton.

“It’s the spine of the team that we’re missing, in all of the important positions, through injury. And it’s costing us.

“We have 19-year-olds playing in key positions and it’s not helping.

“It doesn’t rain but it pours for us. The injury situation seems to get worse rather than better.

“And it’s frustrating for me as I’m not able to manage my strongest side. We’re wanting to build a team around our strongest players and we’re not able to.

“We’re missing Kyle Kesik, Jordan Howden, Tom Carr and George Milton.

“And now we’re going to be missing Jordie Hedges as well.

“We can’t get our best team on the pitch and haven’t been able to all season, which is so frustrating as a coach.”

Nonetheless, Thornton was left disappointed with his side’s exit from the iPro Sport Cup, and says it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why Dons weren’t able to keep up their early good play throughout the full 80 minutes.

“I’m really disappointed, we thought we’d be able to use the game as an opportunity to get out of the slump we’re in,” he said.

“Unfortunately we didn’t.

“We started the game better than we have been recently. It’s hard to explain what happened.

“We were controlling the game and then we just allowed them back into it.

“It was a reasonable first half performance and we were unlucky with the two tries we conceded.

“Unfortunately that knocked our confidence and we just didn’t get going in the second half.

“It’s difficult to sum up, and I’ll have to go away and review the game before I draw conclusions.”

Dons return to league action this weekend having played in the Challenge Cup and iPro Sport Cup in their last two games.

They have won two and lost only one - against York City Knights - of their league games so far.