Doncaster RLFC No.2 Pete Green praised the team’s never-say-die attitude in Saturday’s 62-6 Coral Challenge Cup sixth round defeat against holders Catalans Dragons at the State Gilbert Brutas.
Despite losing loan winger Tom Halliday, who had scored five tries on his debut the previous week, with a dislocated shoulder after just 15 minutes, the Dons only trailed the high-flying Super League side by 18-6 at the break.
“We played really well – particularly in defence,” said Green. “Two of their first half tries came from kicks which had taken a ricochet and the other came from acting half so it wasn’t as if they had carved us open.
“We were definitely still in the game and Catalans coach Steve McNamara admitted after the game that we had caused them some problems in the first half.
“Unfortunately, they scored a couple of early tries in the second half and got away from us but we never stopped working hard even though our earlier efforts started to take a toll as the half progressed.
“It didn’t help that we fielded a bit of a makeshift pack – with Brandan Wilkinson playing only his second game after a long lay-off and Jordie Hedges playing out of position in the second-row - against what was a very physical Catalans side.
“Several of their tries were back-to-back tries so we didn’t see much of the ball. Had we had more of the ball I’m sure that we’d have caused them a few more problems in attack in the second half than we did.
“Although the final score was more than we had been hoping for, as I say, there were a number of positives we can take into Saturday’s league game at London Skolars.
"It was a good experience for the players to play against top class players like Sam Tomkins and to play a Super League side in France.
“Catalans looked after both the team and those supporters who made the trip really well.”