Doncaster RLFC boss Richard Horne reacts to win over North Wales Crusaders
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That summed up head coach Richard Horne’s thoughts when reflecting on Sunday’s 30-16 Betfred League One win over North Wales Crusaders at the Eco-Power Stadium.
“We didn’t start as we had talked about starting,” said Horne. “I thought we played too much one-out rugby – especially in the first quarter – and we were too predictable. We’ve got to be better going forward.
“You can’t play that sort of game against a big side like they were because they’ll dominate you. They were hard to handle near the line and we knew we’d have to defend well and we did that. We held them up over the line on several occasions so I was pleased with that aspect of our game.
“I also thought that they did a really good job bringing the ball out of their own half and were always a threat on the edges.
“They started better than us and scored first. Their lad took his chance well but I felt our middles (forwards) switched off and they got a slap on the wrist for that at half time.
“We started to play better in the second quarter with hooker Greg Burns making a couple of breaks from acting half-back and stand-off Ben Johnston started running at the line and creating some space.
“I was happy to come in 12-6 up at half time but we spoke about needing to move their big forwards about more in the second half and we did that. We found some passes and got more width to our game and went on to win the game.
“The good thing about the team is they aren’t panicking, which is a great sign for us as coaches, and they are coming though the other end and getting a result even though at times they are not playing the rugby that we want them to play.
“We are playing well in 30-minute patches and we’ve spoken about that not being good enough if we want to achieve the targets we have set ourselves. We need to be better than that when we come up against the likes of Dewsbury who came down from the Championship and have started well.”
The Dons, who were without several players carrying hamstring problems, saw Burns limp off towards the end.
“I don’t know how bad it is yet but hopefully he’ll be fit for Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie away at London Broncos,” said Horne.