Whitehaven 26 Doncaster RLFC 8: Dons suffer setback in Cumbria
Doncaster RLFC again came home empty-handed from Cumbria after losing 26-8 to Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.
The home side dominated the second half, scoring four tries to one, after being second best for most of a scrappy first half.
The Dons completed the double over their hosts last season and dominated the first quarter.
Dual-registered forward Levy Nzoungou was held just short and winger Matty Chrimes was denied by a try-saving interception by his opposite number Dave Thompson.
The Cumbrians had hardly troubled the Doncaster defence in the first quarter, despite the visitors conceding seven penalties.
But they looked to have broken the deadlock on 20 minutes through stand-off Sam Forester, only for the referee to have spotted an obstruction on Doncaster prop Brandon Douglas in the build-up.
The Dons took a deserved lead four minutes later when scrum-half Matty Beharrell broke the line to serve up an easy scoring chance for Chrimes.
The half-back almost set up a try for dual-registered second-rower Danny Langtree but his grubber kick ran dead just before the Hull FC man could make contact.
The Dons played the last few minutes of the half a man short after centre Connor Bower was sin-binned for a late tackle on Forester, who was taken for a head injury assessment.
The Cumbrians almost capitalised on their extra man but full-back Chris Taylor was held just short on the sixth tackle.
They did so, however, within two minutes of the restart when centre Jason Mossop touched down near enough for Jake Moore to convert after the second-rower had broken the line.
The Cumbrians opened up a 12-4 lead after Moore took advantage of a favourable bounce from a kick on the last tackle to touch down for a try he also converted.
The shell-shocked Dons needed to score next and they did just that with a close-range try by last season’s top scorer Jason Tali after Beharrell had created the position.
Veteran centre Jessie Joe Parker, a thorn in Doncaster’s side on many an occasion over the years, touched down for a third converted Whitehaven try which secured them an 18-8 lead going into the final quarter.
Needing at least two converted tries to salvage a win, the Dons went close through hooker Kyle Kesik on 70 minutes.
But Whitehaven wrapped things up with a converted try by Dion Aiye and a last minute penalty.
Dons: Miloudi, Doherty, Bower, Tali, Chrimes, Howden, Beharrell; Boyle, Kesik, Douglas, Langtree, Cox, Nzoungou. Subs: Scott, Spiers, Hedges, Cross.