Doncaster RLFC enjoy comfortable win over Batley Bulldogs

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Doncaster RLFC made hay while the sun shone in their Betfred Championship clash against Batley Bulldogs at the Eco-Power Stadium.

The Dons made it four wins from their first eight games on their return to the Championship, after eight years in League One, with a comfortable 26-0 victory over a Batley side who had a lot of bark but not much bite on the day.

The Dons, who came close to pulling off a shock win at third-placed Widnes last time out, dominated the first half and were good value for their 16-0 interval lead which laid the foundations for a victory which consolidated their place in the top half of the division.

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The Dons took the lead on nine minutes when in-form PNG international Watson Boas touched down near enough for full-back Craig Hall to add the extras. Winger Luke Briscoe, who had earlier taken a couple of high kicks under pressure, palmed Connor Robinson’s high kick to the corner inside to centre Brad Hey who in turn supplied the scoring pass.

Jason Tali scores a try on his 150th appearance for the Dons. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.comJason Tali scores a try on his 150th appearance for the Dons. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.com
Jason Tali scores a try on his 150th appearance for the Dons. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.com

The Dons were in again on 14 minutes. Centre Jason Tali raced over for a try he clearly enjoyed scoring after the criticism he received for a wayward pass in the defeat at Widnes which cost his side a possible last-minute winning score, following some slick handling from right to left by forwards and backs.

Batley went close to opening their account at the end of the first quarter only to fall further behind within a minute. Former Hull FC winger Bureta Faraimo, recently signed for the season, got on the end of a pin-point cross-field kick by the influential Robinson, who added the extras from out wide, to make it 16-0.

The Batley pack ran hard but without their usual creativity at half-back they got little change out of a well organised Doncaster defence which carried on from where it left off at Widnes.

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Batley made a bright start to the second half and when Hall dropped a high kick close to his line big forward Michael Ward was held inches short from the resulting pressure.

Good handling got Faraimo away on 48 minutes but second-rower Brett Ferres looked to have run in front of him after he had stumbled which ruled out the possibility of an inside scoring pass.

Faraimo won the race to a Batley grubber kick to clear the danger at the expense of a goal-line drop out on 55 minutes.

Man-of-the-match Boas made an exciting midfield break which created the position from which Ferres scrambled over from close range after some near offloading several plays later.

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With Robinson having been substituted after taking a knock, Hall, who had moved to half-back – Josh Guzdek coming on at full-back - added the extras to make a 22-0 at the end of the third quarter.

That’s the way it stayed until the 79th minute when Faraimo scored one of the easiest tries he will ever score in a Doncaster shirt when touching down from Hall’s lobbed pass a metre from the line.

Dons: Hall, Briscoe, Hey, Tali, Faraimo, Boas, Robinson, Knowles, Lovodua, Matagi, Pauli, Ferres, McConnell. Subs: Holdstock, Guzdek, Kenga, Hepi. 18th man: Taulapapa.

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