And Thornton was left thrilled with the way his side built a platform for victory in Sunday’s 54-4 friendly win over Oxford RL.
“I said before we went out, one of the key words for me was patience,” Thornton told the Dons’ official website.
“We have to remember that teams are going to want to come here and beat us, we are one of the favourites to win the league.
“Teams are going to come here and want to have a crack at us and I knew in the first 20 it would go set for set and it did.
“Fair play to Oxford they came out of the blocks pretty good and belted us a few times.
“We have to expect that and it was good for the boys to experience that because I think that is what it will be like for most of the season.
“Teams will come out strong for 20 minutes. We have to go set for set, ride that storm and then play on the back of that and take our chances when they come along.
“I thought we scored some super tries and we did that, but it was on the base of good patient build up work and patient defence.”
The Dons’ final pre-season friendly is at home to Leeds Rhinos on Sunday, February 7.
They host North Wales Cup in the iPro Sport Cup on Sunday, February 21.