Doncaster RLFC run out comfortable winners against Dewsbury Rams

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Doncaster RLFC made it back-to-back Betfred Championship wins when beating last season’s League One champions Dewsbury Rams 38-12 at the Eco-Power Stadium.

This was another encouraging display by the Dons, who had beaten Barrow by a similar scoreline last time out, and underlined the fact that they are now starting to become a side capable of testing all but the Championship elite on their day.

Their victory was built on an impressive display by their pack in which props Brad Knowles and Suaia Matagi and second-rower Pauli Pauli were particularly outstanding.

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Behind the pack scrum-half Connor Robinson varied his tactics well and all of his fellow backs contributed to the cause.

Picture via @Doncaster_RLFCPicture via @Doncaster_RLFC
Picture via @Doncaster_RLFC

The Dons early pressure paid off when Josh Guzdek, back in his favoured position of full-back, sliced through out wide from ten metres out on six minutes.

A defensive mix-up from a bouncing ball from a kick almost led to a Dewsbury try on ten minutes.

It only proved a stay of execution, however, as hooker James Hookem shot over from close range for a try converted by full-back Callum Turner a minute later.

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The Dons regained the lead after a spell of pressure when veteran winger Misi Taulapapa produced a superb finish in the corner on 24 minutes following good work by lively hooker Greg Burns and Craig Hall, who did an excellent job covering for Ben Johnston at stand-off. Robinson added the extras.

Knowles, who had earlier made a storming midfield run only to lose the ball ten metres out, raced through a gap close to the line two minutes later. Robinson again added the conversion to give his side a deserved 16-6 interval lead.

Joe Lovodua, who replaced Burns at the start of the second half, wasted no time in making his mark when touching down from a Pauli offload close to the line for a try.

Lovodua went close again before Pauli, who is proving to be an excellent close season signing, bulldozed his way past several defenders before touching down. Robinson again tagged on the extras to open up a commanding 28-6 lead as the Dons put the result beyond doubt.

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Hall and Robinson both added close-range tries for the dominant Dons, who could have scored more points against a disappointing Dewsbury side who seem to be finding life back in the Championship much tougher than Richard Horne’s men who have bounced back well from three successive defeats against the division’s top guns.

Dewsbury’s defensive efforts had clearly taken its toll on their energy levels in the second half and they rarely threatened the Doncaster line and their only points came from a try following a kick the home side failed to clear.

The only negatives for the Dons, ahead of Sunday’s testing visit to Widnes, were hamstring injuries to prop Keelan Foster and former England international centre Reece Lyne.

Dons: Guzdek, Briscoe, Lyne, Hey, Taulapapa, Hall, Robinson, Knowles, Burns, Matagi, Pauli, Ferres, McConnell. Subs: Foster, Smeaton, Lovodua, Hepi.

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