Richard Horne disappointed despite Dons' win over London Skolars

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Doncaster RLFC remain second in Betfred League One but their fate is back in their own hands following the results at the weekend.

Speaking after seeing the Dons beat London Skolars 60-30, and reflecting on the draw between leaders Dewsbury and third-placed Oldham, Horne told the Free Press: “If we win all our remaining games, which we know won’t be easy, then we will win the league.”

Horne was impressed by the way his charges responded to their first defeat of the season at Dewsbury, when storming to a 36-0 interval lead against the lowly visitors. Less so what happened in the second half.

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“I couldn’t fault the first half, our attitude and everything else was very good,” he said. “But the second half wasn’t as good which is disappointing as we had spoken all week about that if we built up a big interval lead, as we did, not to put the cue in the rack and we kind of did that.

Richard Horne, centreRichard Horne, centre
Richard Horne, centre

“I know we made a few changes (in the second half) and we left a few lads out there who hadn’t had a lot of game-time and they became a little fatigued.

“Part of that was due to (forwards) Keelan Foster and Luke Cooper picking up knocks and that resulted in the subs staying out there longer than would otherwise have been the case. But I’m not looking to make excuses.

“Although we didn’t set ourselves a points target we’d spoken about trying to improve our points difference and trying to keep them scoreless. The players spoke about that more than I did to be honest, which was great, because that shows that they are buying into what we are trying to do.

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“The game got a little scrappy at 60-6 and we started making mistakes at the back and ended up letting in some soft tries.

Josh Veacock scores the Dons' opening try. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.comJosh Veacock scores the Dons' opening try. Picture: Howard Roe/
Josh Veacock scores the Dons' opening try. Picture: Howard Roe/

“To be fair to Skolars, they only made one (unforced) error in the second half, whereas our completion rate dropped to around the 64 per cent mark, and that puts you under pressure.

“They are a big and powerful side and if they get near your line, and you give them repeat sets, they will eventually crash over and they did that.

“What happened in the last few minutes took a bit of the shine off the result. We’ll certainly be looking to address those errors in training ahead of the game at Midlands Hurricanes on Sunday week."