Doncaster comprehensively beaten by League One leaders North Wales Crusaders

Doncaster RLFC were put to the sword at the Eco-Power Stadium as unbeaten North Wales Crusaders powered their way to a 46-0 win to regain top spot in Betfred League One.

By Steve Hossack
Sunday, 8th May 2022, 7:05 pm

The damage was done in a completely one-sided first half as the Crusaders powered their way to a 28-0 interval lead with a near-faultless display.

The Dons produced a spirited response after the break but only rarely threatened to open their account before conceding three late converted tries as their earlier efforts took its toll.

“We completed high, we took our chances and our discipline was good,” said Crusaders coach Anthony Murray.

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Picture: Rob Terrace

Doncaster are a good side with a good coach and we expected them to come at us in the second half and we had our backs to the wall for 20 minutes or so but we defended well in what was probably our best performance of the season.”

Although the Dons had expected a tough game given Crusaders’ start to the season, they had entertained hopes of becoming the first side to lower their colours.

But that never looked like being the case as the Colwyn Bay-based visitors proved far too strong for them, particularly in the forwards, as they ran in five tries and went close on several other occasions.

In contrast, the Dons lacked both shape and an attacking edge and it wasn’t until coach Richard Horne brought on three substitutes after Crusaders had opened up a 24-0 lead after as many minutes, that they went close on a couple of occasions before conceding again just before the break.

Realistically playing for nothing but pride in the second half, the Dons raised their game without being able to find their way to the line as they finished pointless for the first time this season.

Their best chance of a try came when man-of-the-match Tom Halliday got away down the right only to be halted by full-back Tom Johnson in a one-on-one just outside the 20.

Skipper Sam Smeaton looked to have half a chance later on but appeared to take the wrong option when offloading the ball ten metres out rather than trying to score himself.

Crusaders finished strongly against tiring opponents as they avenged last season’s play-off defeat and claimed their seventh successive win in style to underline their promotion credentials.

Dons: Howe, Halliday, Storey, Sanderson, Corrion, Poching, Robinson, Foster, Whitmore, Mathiou, Ollett-Hobson, Smeaton, Petersen. Subs: McConnell, Cockayne, Fella, Tali.