Doncaster seek seventh straight win in Rochdale rematch

Doncaster RLFC will be looking to consolidate fourth spot in Sunday’s crucial Betfred League One promotion clash against Rochdale Hornets at the Eco-Power Stadium (3pm).

By Steve Hossack
Friday, 5th August 2022, 9:49 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:02 am

The two clubs exchanged places after last weekend’s games which saw the Dons romp to an expected victory over West Wales Raiders and Hornets suffer a 53-22 derby defeat at home to third-placed Swinton Lions.

“I think a lot of people will have been surprised by the score,” said head coach Richard Horne.

“But Swinton are one of those teams who, if they get quick ruck tempo, they are hard to live with. We found that out earlier in the season.

Jose Kenga in action against West Wales. Picture: Liam Ford/AHPIX LTD

“We learned a lot from that game and when we went over there in the return we knew that we had to do a really good job on their middles, which we did, and came away with a good win.”

Hornets will travel over the Pennines seeking to complete the double having beaten a spirited Doncaster side at Spotland.

“We played well that day and dominated for long periods and we were leading after 65 minutes,” recalled Horne. “But they finished strongly and scored three late tries and took the game away from us which was disappointing.

“We know that we will have to play for the full 80 minutes because they are a very talented team.

“They got a really big middle with a lot of experience and we know that (former Dons half-back) Rangi Chase can come up with really big plays around the ruck area.

“We’ve looked at them in training this week but we’ve mainly concentrated on ourselves. We are going into the game on the back of six successive league wins and if we get right what we do on the day then we won’t be far off getting the result we want.

“The squad is looking healthy and those players who we left out on Sunday due to little niggles will all be available so we are in a good position if we can keep everyone fit going forward.”

Victory for the Dons would also see them keep alive their hopes of securing second spot which would guarantee them home advantage, including the final were they to get that far, throughout the play-offs.

Defeat for Swinton, who entertain unbeaten leaders Keighley, would see the Dons move level on points but the Lions have a much better points difference.