Doncaster RLFC: Time is on our side - Richard Horne

Doncaster RLFC head coach Richard Horne took a philosophical view of the 60-0 defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

Kyle Kesik in action against Leeds Rhinos.
Kyle Kesik in action against Leeds Rhinos.

The club's second pre-season game also served as hooker Kyle Kesik's testimonial.

'We knew it was going to be tough so we spoke about the first 25 minutes and making sure that we were competitive during that time, said Horne.

'We were so I was happy with that.

'We knew there would be lot of disruption after that because of the number of former teammates that Kezzie wanted us to play and we had to move a few players around.

'We lost forwards Russ Spiers and Brandon Douglas before the game so we were only left with two middles (forwards) and some players played minutes they would never play in a league game.

'I thought Matt Carbutt (one of the guest players) was outstanding especially considering that he hasn't played at this level for a while.

'As I say, I was happy with what I saw during that first quarter or so both in attack and defence.

'Don't get me wrong there are still areas where there needs to be a massive improvement. We just weren't getting our kicks away and we were gifting them field position.

'But we are still four of five weeks from the start of our season whereas Leeds are just a couple away. They are also ten weeks into pre-season and we are only six weeks in.

'As was the case against Hull FC the previous week, we knew that we were never going to get a result against Leeds. It was all about players getting minutes.'

Horne admits that things are not going to get any easier this weekend when the Dons complete their warm-up games against Super League newcomers London Broncos.

'We played them last year during pre-season and we gave them a good game,' he said.

'Within a couple of weeks we'd agreed to play them again this year but we didn't know at the time that they'd be in the Super League.

'Sunday's game is their only pre-season game so they are probably going to come fully loaded.

'It would have been nice to have played a Championship team because at the moment we can't really gauge where are at and where we need to improve because everything is happening too quickly (on the pitch) playing against full-time players who are fitter and faster.

'Fortunately, we've got three weeks after Sunday's game to work on things.

'That will give us time to work on our conditioning, a few more weight sessions and some team stuff which we haven't really focused on yet as we wanted to concentrate on the fitness side of things.'