Steve Hossack: Doncaster RLFC have second place within their grasp

It would be good to see an above average crowd at the Eco-Power Stadium on Sunday when in-form Doncaster RLFC take on Betfred League One rivals West Wales Raiders (3pm).

By Steve Hossack
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:00 pm

The Dons have won all four games on the road, two of them against play-off rivals North Wales and Swinton, since beating Hunslet in their last home game in early June.

Having lost heavily against both teams at home earlier in the season fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst – especially given the club’s form in the first half of the season.

But head coach Richard Horne always maintained that things would improve – though the manner of the recent wins may have surprised even him – once he got key players back after long-term injuries and suspension and he has been proved right.

Doncaster's Travis Corion in action against Oldham.

The Dons had a lot of ground to make up and remain fifth. But they have all the club’s above them, with the exception of leaders Keighley, in their sights which makes for an exciting run-in and a second-place finish is certainly within their grasp.

The pack have stepped up to the plate in recent weeks and that that has helped lay a platform for the backs.

Stand-off Ben Johnston’s early dismissal for verbal abuse in the home game against Swinton, and his subsequent five-match ban, undoubtedly contributed to the club’s mixed start. But he has more than made amends on his return with some stunning displays.

PNG international half-back Watson Boas, sensibly rested on Oldham’s artificial pitch where Jordie Hedges suffered a career-ending knee injury late in the 2020 campaign, is expected to play his first game on home soil for a year. He, too, has been in sensational form.

West Wales won’t seriously test the rejuvenated Dons, but the likes of Rochdale and Keighley will in the coming weeks.

Why not take in one of the club’s remaining league games? You never know you might find yourself getting hooked.

*I was sad to learn of the recent passing of the popular Mike Cowan.

It is probably fair to say that during his playing days Mike was often in the shadow of the legendary Freddie Truman with whom he often spearheaded the Yorkshire CCC attack.

But having seen both men on the after-dinner circuit, I felt Mike took the spoils.

I bumped into Mike on a number of occasions over the years at sportsman’s dinners where I was a fellow top-table guest, and he never failed to bowl the audience over with his laid-back comedy style.

Mike also did a lot of charity functions over the years and he will be missed by a lot of Doncaster people.

*Like any city centre, Doncaster can feel intimidating for a lot of people in an evening.

But over the last 28 years that has not been the case on at least one night of the year when it hosted the Doncaster 5k town centre road race meeting.

The event, which featured two senior 5k races and a family fun run, will also have encouraged hundreds of local people over the years to get involved in athletics and join local clubs.

It has always been well organised and I was happy to help maintain that reputation to the end by volunteering my services on the last ever running of the event.