Richard Horne’s warning for Dons squad as they prepare to hit the road

Richard Horne has warned his Doncaster RLFC side that they must be quicker out of the blocks at North Wales Crusaders on Sunday.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 5:00 am
Dons winger Tom Halliday goes close to scoring against London Skolars. Photo: Rob Terrace

The Dons are gaining momentum in Betfred League One, bouncing back from an opening day defeat at Keighley to win four on the spin.

But it took them almost half an hour to really get into their stride in last weekend’s 46-12 success over London Skolars.

And, ahead of a testing sequence of five successive away games due to pitch renovation work at the Keepmoat Stadium, Horne says his side must start games better or face the consequences.

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Jason Tali scored on his 100th appearance for Doncaster in Sunday’s win over London Skolars

“We took our opportunities when they came and we were clinical,” said Horne. “But again it’s that slow start that hurts you.

“It can go either way. This week it went our way but we do that at North Wales or Hunslet in the coming weeks and we might be on the other end of the scoreline.

“It’s making sure that we are mentally ready to start games because obviously fitness-wise we are there. We’re hanging in there and stilll giving ourselves an opportunity.

“We just don’t want to be starting games like that though.

“If the game didn’t throw that start up for us who knows what sort of mindset we’d go into the North Wales game. Hopefully it’s a bit of a kick up the backside for the boys to say we cannot start that slow.

“It makes the message easier for us [as coaches] when we look back at the video.”

Doncaster lie third in the early table, level on points with Workington Town and two behind unbeaten leaders Barrow Raiders.

They face trips to North Wales, Hunslet, Coventry, Barrow and London Skolars over the next six weeks.

“We’re happy with the start we’ve made and the progress we’re making but there’s still a lot more in us,” said Horne.

“You could see the boys were rusty in that Keighley game. Everything happened too quick in that game, the ruck tempos were far too quick but we’ve addressed that and the performances are showing that.

“It’s a challenging period coming up but as a staff we’ll sit down and speak about it with the group. A big positive is going to one of the hardest places in Workington and getting a result. We can grow confidence off the back of that.”