Promotion-chasing Doncaster brush aside struggling West Wales Raiders

Doncaster RLFC put lowly West Wales Raiders to the sword on their return to the Eco-Power Stadium as they maintained their challenge for a top-two spot in the Betfred League One promotion race.

By Steve Hossack
Sunday, 31st July 2022, 6:34 pm

Their prospects having been transformed with four successive victories on the road since they last played at home at the start of last month, the Dons posted a 62-6 win over a side again fighting to avoid the wooden spoon.

Although the home supporters cheered every try some of the older ones may have had some sympathy for the struggling visitors, who never stopped trying, given the fact that the Dons were once in a similar position themselves.

But there is no room for sentiment in professional sport and, needing to not only win but win big to improve their points difference which could prove crucial come the end of the season, the Dons were keen to capitalise on every scoring opportunity and were generally quite clinical.

Doncaster's Alex Holdstock charges forward. Picture: Liam Ford/AHPIX LTD

It took them less than two minutes to open their account with the returning Jack Sanderson forcing his way over out wide.

Stand-off Ben Johnston, who had almost conjured up a try for Watson Boas with a neat grubber kick, then set-up a long-range try for full-back Ben Howe.

The visitors played with plenty of spirit with ball in hand at times and cut the deficit to just two points with a converted try on 12 minutes.

But that was as close as they got with Sanderson and fellow winger Tom Halliday both going over in quick succession for tries - the second of which was converted by Howe who took over the kicking duties from Boas - to open up an 18-6 lead.

Boas celebrated his first game on home soil for over 12 months when rewarding good work by centre Robbie Storey. Ross Whitmore also touched down before the break.

Storey added to the Dons’ 30-6 interval lead with an unconverted try three minutes after the restart.

Halliday and Whitmore both bagged second tries after a spell of determined Raiders’ pressure - both converted by Connor Robinson who had replaced Johnston during the break.

Halliday completed his hat-trick on 56 minutes after collecting a Robinson kick seconds after Sanderson had been denied what would have been a well-taken try on the other flank.

Johnston made an immediate impact on his return to the fray on 67 minutes by sending Boas over for his second converted try.

He then rounded off the try scoring with a trademark touchdown on the hooter.

Dons: Howe, Halliday, Smeaton, Storey, Sanderson, Johnston, Boas, Holdstock, Burns, Kenga, Ollett-Hobson, Ruan, Whitmore. Subs: Roberts, Robinson, Wilkinson, Fella.