Doncaster RLFC beat Dewsbury to finish third in League One

Dons' Watson Boas dives for the try line. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.comDons' Watson Boas dives for the try line. Picture: Howard Roe/
Dons' Watson Boas dives for the try line. Picture: Howard Roe/
Doncaster RLFC held on to third spot in Betfred League One season after beating Dewsbury 36-26 on the last day of the regular season at the Eco-Power Stadium.

The result of an entertaining game was often in the balance, but with fourth-placed Oldham, who could have climbed above the Dons suffering a surprise defeat at home to Midlands Hurricanes, Richard Horne’s side would still have finished third even if they had the lost against the West Yorkshire side who were presented with the league title after the game.

Doncaster will now host Oldham in the first round of the play-offs next Sunday.

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The Dons found themselves trailing 10-6 at the break despite dominating the first half for long periods but the quality of their finishing didn’t match that of their build-up play.

Poor handling cost Horne’s side a couple of early tries out wide with ex-Dewsbury winger Tom Halliday also having a touchdown chalked off after the referee had spotted an obstruction.

On-loan prop Albert Vete, who again showed up well, and stand-off Ben Johnston, were both held on the line before former Super League star Mahe Fonua forced his way over from close range.

Man-of-the-match Connor Robinson, who both guided the team around well as well as impressing with the boot, tagged on the first of his six conversions, to give the Dons a well-deserved 6-0 lead after 20 minutes.

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Dewsbury started to look more like themselves with ball in hand in the last 15 minutes or so and opened their account with an unconverted try by second-rower Matt Garside after both sides had lost the ball over the line.

A one-on-one tackle on his opposite number close to the line by winger Travis Corion denied the Rams a second try but there was no stopping full-back Owen Restall after he backed up a midfield break by lively scrum-half Calum Turner.

Corion also denied his opposite number again early in the second half after Restall’s run looked set to give them a second try without reply after the restart.

PNG international Watson Boas, who came off the bench late in the first half, threw his side a badly-needed lifeline when grabbing a scrappy 52nd minute try which Robinson goaled to close the deficit to two points.

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Dewsbury produced a quick response, however, with former Dons three-quarter Olly Greensmith touching down near enough for Sykes to convert to make it. 20-12.

Johnston kept his side in touch with typical score. Robinson added the extras as he did a couple of minutes later to make it 24-20 after Boas had powered his way over after a determined run.

Garside completed his hat-trick after Brett Feres had been sin-binned and with Sykes adding the extras the visitors led 26-24.

Boas completed his hat-trick after the ball came loose near the line. Robinson’s conversion restored Doncaster’s four-point lead.

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With Ferres back on the Dons put the result beyond doubt on 78 minutes when Fonua crossed for another converted try.

Dons: Guzdek, Halliday, Hey, Fonua, Corion, Johnston, Robinson, Vete, Burns, Knowles, Smeaton, Ferres, McConnell. Subs: Boas, Holdstock, James, Foster. 18th man: Taulapapa.