Doncaster RLFC: '˜Our destiny is in our own hands now' - Richard Horne
Doncaster RLFC survived a late scare to beat Betfred League One promotion rivals Oldham 26-22 at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The Dons remain just outside of the play-offs but only points difference now separates them from Oldham who dropped from third to fifth as a result of the defeat and other games going against them.
The Dons, who have now posted back-to-back wins over teams who started the game above them in the table, had to make four enforced changes to the side which had beaten Hunslet last time out and were second best at times in a first half which saw them lead 8-6 at the break.
“The (wet) conditions sort of hampered the way that we wanted to play and probably favoured them with their direct style of play,” said head coach Richard Horne. “I thought the yardage we made with the ball was awful in the first half and we gifted them field position at times.
“They are a big, physical side but we defended with some energy.
“We spoke at half time about the areas we needed to do better in and we got it right in the second half and put them under pressure and then took our opportunities. Then, with about ten minutes or so to go, we sort of shut up shop and let them back into the game.
“They were always going to play expansive rugby in the closing minutes to try and catch up. They threw caution to the wind and some of their plays came off for them.
“I think the defensive work that we had to do in the first half probably contributed a little bit because, as I say, they were shifting us about and moving our middles about who had done some big tackling stints.
“Although I’m disappointed that we didn’t see the game out as I would have liked, and I know that we are capable of doing, we got the result that we wanted and that was what was important going forward as we challenge for the top five.
“It’s still very close but our destiny is in our own hands now and we aren’t relying on anybody else.”
The game marked the return to the Doncaster squad of Hull’s French international Hakim Miloudi – a proven match-winner at this level.
“Although Hakim didn’t have one of his best games it’s good to have him back in the team,” said Horne.