Doncaster go back to basics in win over Cornwall

Doncaster RLFC climbed to fifth in the Betfred League One table following their nine-try win over visiting Cornwall at the Eco-Power Stadium.

By Steve Hossack
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 10:40 am

Head coach Richard Horne had been critical of his players in successive defeats against high-flying Keighley Cougars and Swinton Lions.

But he was far happier with the Dons’ performance even allowing for the fact that the visitors were playing only their third competitive game.

“We got off to a better start than in our previous games and I was pleased with the performance,” said Horne.

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Ben Johnston (centre), who again impressed for the Dons, breaks the Cornwall line. Photo: Rob Terrace

“I thought we executed some of the moves really well.

“We didn’t try and force the play and that was pleasing because we wanted to strip it back a bit after what had happened in the previous two games when we made a lot of handling errors and didn’t really give ourselves a chance with ball in hand.

“We got a little bit scrappy in the last ten minutes or so and that was part of the conversion with the players after the game.

"I told them it has to an be 80-minute performance because we won’t be able to get away with not doing that against the top sides because they will punish you.”

Horne admitted that the game hadn’t been as one-sided as some people had predicted.

“It was probably a good time to play them,” he said.

“You could see that they had a couple of rugby union lads in there who haven’t grasped rugby league yet and the more games they play the better they will get so the second time around they’ll probably be tougher opposition.

“They chanced their arm at times, and teams like that are always going to do that, and that made them unpredictable at times and they never gave in.”

Stand-off Ben Johnston, sent-off for dissent in the first quarter in the big defeat against Swinton, helped make amends with an impressive display setting up several tries and scoring himself.

“He’s a lively character and he’s a really good runner with the ball with good deception and on his day he probably is one of the best stand-offs in this division,” said Horne.

“We just need to make sure that he maintains that form and be consistent in all that he does.

"Unfortunately he is up before the disciplinary committee this week and we could lose him for a few weeks.”

The Dons make the long trip to West Wales Raiders on Saturday, where they were lucky to come away with a point from a 24-24 draw against last season’s wooden spoonists in August.

“We’ll make sure all our preparations are right so it will all be about attitude,” said Horne.

“As long as we turn up with the right attitude, as we would if we were playing one of the top teams, we should get the job done.

“As well as coming away with the points we want to see how the players are doing the different things that we are giving them to do in training out on the field.”

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