Doncaster RLFC: Promotion rests on play-off campaign after latest defeat

If Doncaster RLFC are to win promotion back to the Championship this season it will have to be via the Betfred League One play-offs.

By Steve Hossack
Monday, 15 July, 2019, 21:07
Doncaster RLFC boss Richard Horne

Their 22-12 defeat against leaders Whitehaven in their final ‘home’ game at Featherstone dashed their outside hopes of claiming top spot and automatic promotion.

Hunslet’s win over Coventry saw them push the Dons down to fifth and with other results also going against them their place in the play-offs is still not guaranteed.

Head coach Richard Horne didn’t try to hide is disappointment post-match.

“We weren’t good enough with the ball and we gave ourselves too much to do in defence,” he said.

“When we had the ball early on and we controlled it and forced repeat sets and competed in the arm wrestle we looked good but we then started to make mistakes and it took too much juice out of us.

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“Despite playing down the slope we spent a lot of time defending in our own half.

“We created three chances in the first half and converted two of them to lead 12-2 but they hit back to lead with tries either side of half-time and both were huge in terms of the result.

“Not catching the ball on the full (from the kick-off) was criminal on our part.

“I’d told them that we needed to keep the ball better and build some field position in the second half because when we got down there we looked dangerous – and would have scored but for a forward pass - but we just couldn’t get down there enough like the first half.

“They didn’t throw anything at us we didn’t expect. They just completed (their sets) at a very high rate and kicked to build pressure and were always a big threat near the line with their big players. They deserved to win.”