Doncaster RLFC 70 West Wales Raiders 6: Dons return to winning ways in 1895 Cup

Dons' Jordan Howden
Dons' Jordan Howden

Doncaster RLFC coasted to victory over fellow League One rivals West Wales Raiders in their inaugural 1895 Cup first round tie at the Keepmoat Stadium.  

The Dons ran in 12 tries as they returned to winning ways following back-to-back league defeats with a resounding 70-6 victory.

Victory means the Dons will head into Saturday’s testing sixth round Coral Challenge Cup tie against holders Catalans Dragons in good spirits though there is unlikely to be any similarities between Raiders and the Super League side.

Head coach Richard Horne had wanted to see his charges stick more to the script than in recent games when the Dons had failed to build pressure and respect the ball.

He was also looking for more of a spark at half-back than in the defeat by North Wales last time out.

He will have been pleased on both accounts – though he will not be getting carried away due to the lowly opposition - with recent loan signing Watson Boas scoring a brace of tries and setting one up playing at stand-off.

Regular stand-off Jordan Howden also showed up well at full-back.

Raiders, who gave a good account of themselves in the first half before tiring after the break, took a shock lead on six minutes with a well-worked converted try.

The Dons drew level on nine minutes when winger Tom Halliday celebrated his debut for the Dons when touching down from a Boas grubber kick in the corner for a try converted by Matty Beharrell.

Raiders went close during a period of pressure near the Doncaster line prior to a good break by second-rower Brad Foster creating the position from which Menzie Yere touched down out wide for a second converted try to make it 12-6.

Raiders continued to work hard in defence but they failed to stop dual-registered loose-forward Levy Nzoungou from forcing his way over for a third converted try on 25 minutes.

There would have been a fourth Doncaster try just before the break had Jason Tali collected another Boas kick.

Raiders’ determination to keep the ball alive on the last tackle of the half proved costly as Halliday latched on to a loose ball and sprinted over 60m for a fourth converted try which left them trailing 24-6.

If the first half had been more of a keenly-contested encounter than the score would suggest, the second proved more of a procession with Howden scoring the first of eight tries on 42 minutes.

Boas bagged a quickly-taken brace – the second a superb solo effort – to open up a 40-6 lead.

Halliday latched on to a loose ball on the halfway line and raced away for his hat trick. He then capitalised on good work by Connor Bower and Tali to take it his tally to five.

Tali kept the scoreboard ticking over with a brace of converted tries.

Dons: Howden, Halliday, Tali, Yere, Chrimes, Boas, Beharrall; Boyle, Kesik, Spiers, Bower, Foster, Nzoungou. Subs: Douglas, Wilkinson, Bastas, Ogden.