Doncaster hoping to go one step further in play-offs

Doncaster RLFC hit the Betfred League One play-offs trail this weekend hoping to improve on last season’s runners-up spot.
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Having just failed to edge North Wales Crusaders out of third place by the narrowest of margins, the Dons travel to meet the early-season leaders hoping to repeat their league win over them at the Eiraus Stadium on Sunday (2.30pm).

The winners of the game will visit Swinton Lions, who enjoy a weekend off as a result of finishing runners-up to Keighley, with the winners of that tie going straight through to the final.

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The losers of this weekend’s game will entertain the winners of the Rochdale-Oldham tie.

Jason Tali in action against London Skolars.Jason Tali in action against London Skolars.
Jason Tali in action against London Skolars.

“They beat us at home so it’s one-all but I don’t think the result of either of the games will have much of an impact,” said head coach Richard Horne.

“What I do know is that it is going to be a big game and we are looking forward to it and so are they.

“Even though it will be intense, we are going over there to attack. We haven’t got the biggest of packs but the players have got some ability and speed and we’ve got the backs to win us the game.

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“It’s a lovely pitch and we’ve had some good performances since Crusaders moved to Colwyn Bay. It’s a similar size to the one at the Eco-Power Stadium and suits the way we play.

“It’s going to come down to the side which completes the best and doesn’t make any major errors.

“We’ve only lost one in eleven, that against a very good Keighley side who didn’t lose a league game all season, so we are in good shape though there are areas we need to improve.

“Probably bodies-wise we are in a better situation than last season. And by finishing fourth we also have the benefit of having a second bite of the cherry whereas because we finished fifth last season we couldn’t afford to lose and the final was one game too many.”

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The Dons, who will give late tests to several players, have beaten all their play-off rivals at least once and Horne predicts some keenly-contested games over the next month.

“We’ve shown that we can all beat each other during the regular season, so it will be about which team turns up on the day,” he said.

“All the coaching has been done and everyone knows our structures and they’ve just got to turn out on the day and deliver what we’ve worked on.”