Doncaster RLFC hoping to make statement in League One opener against Barrow Raiders

Dons assistant boss Pete Green wants the club to set the bar high in Betfred League One games at the Keepmoat Stadium this season - starting with Sunday’s visit of relegated Barrow Raiders.

By Steve Hossack
Friday, 28th February 2020, 12:27 pm
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 12:27 pm
Doncaster RLFC
Doncaster RLFC

“It’s a massive game for us because a win over Barrow would certainly send out the right message to the other teams coming here this season,” said Green.

“It’s also our first home game of the season – the players are looking forward to being back at the Keepmoat - and the supporters will have been excited by the signings we’ve made and they’ll be looking for us to perform.”

Green admits that the Dons, one of the fancied teams in the 2020 title race, will have to play much better than they did in their two Challenge Cup games if they hope to beat what he predicts will be confident Cumbrian opposition.

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“We didn’t play well in either games and Rich (head coach Richard Horne) has held individual talks with a lot of the players this week, particularly the forwards, and we’ll be looking for a response against Barrow.

“Even though they lost 18-16, they’ll be coming down here in a confident mood after watching footage of their Challenge Cup game at Featherstone last weekend during which they played very well. Particularly after seeing how we’ve played in our two games. We certainly aren’t where we want to be.

”Like all Cumbrian sides they are big and physical. They are also awkward and do things you probably don’t expect and have got some experienced players in key positions.

“We’ll certainly have to play better than up at Workington where we made far too many handling errors and gave ourselves too much work to do in defence which affected our attacking game. The way we ended our sets was poor and will have to be better on Sunday and we need the half-backs to be more involved than they were at times.”

Full-back Jack Logan returns to the squad after missing the game at Derwent Park after going down with a bug and new loan signing from Batley, second-rower Danny Bravo, comes into contention as does Ryan Dixon, who hasn’t played since early last season due to a shoulder problem, and Brandan Wilkinson.