Doncaster RLFC coach pleased with fast start in play-off win over Oldham
Head coach Richard Horne, who has been critical of the way his charges have started some games this season, stole a page from Oldham’s play book.
“We’d looked at the last time we played them and they started really fast and led 22-6 at one stage early in the second half and we needed a late try to beat them at their place,” he told the Free Press.
“We told the players that if we didn’t start well that it was going to be a really tough game because they are a quality team and they’ve got some really experienced boys.
“Fortunately, we managed to snuff them out with some really disciplined play and we both attacked and defended well in the first half.
“We knew that they were good enough to come back if we let our standards drop in the second half and we talked at half time about how we’d come back to win at their place and how momentum can change games.
“We also spoke about not going away from what we had done in the first half and had we done that then we might have put the game even further behind them. But in the last quarter we tried to push a couple of passes rather than staying on the front foot though credit to Oldham for hanging in there.
“They obviously missed Josh Johnson because he gives them that go-forward and I would expect them to have learnt from today’s game and be harder to beat if we meet them again which we could do if we lose at Hunslet and they beat North Wales.”
Although pleased with the overall team performance, Horne singled out several players for praise including on-loan Super League prop Albert Vete.
“Albert’s a handful for defences and he’s also been great for the group with his leadership and experience,” he said. “A number of other clubs wanted him (for the latter half of the season) but fortunately (CEO) Carl Hall knows him really well and got him here and he’s absolutely loving it.
“Mahe’s also a handful and I thought (hooker) Greg Burns also played well and his run across the Oldham defence helped set up his early try.
"We are playing well as a group but we aren’t getting carried away.”