This is how Richard Horne reacted to Dons' defeat to Sheffield Eagles

​Doncaster RLFC head coach Richard Horne felt his side contributed to their own downfall in Sunday’s 22-18 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Group 7 defeat against Sheffield Eagles at the Eco-Power Stadium.
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“We didn’t have much of the ball in the first half, they had 13 full sets (of tackles) and gained more yardage, so we felt quite fortunate to be only two points down at half-time,” said Horne.

“We certainly felt that we were still in the game and we talked about the things that we needed to tidy up in the second half such as stop giving them a piggy back by losing the ball and giving away free-kicks which takes its toll.

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“I didn’t think that we had made them work hard enough (to get good position) and I don’t think their backfield had to carry the ball out of defence at all and that was as a result of us not putting them under any real pressure (apart from the odd occasion early on).

Dons' Alex Sutcliffe celebrates his try. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.comDons' Alex Sutcliffe celebrates his try. Picture: Howard Roe/
Dons' Alex Sutcliffe celebrates his try. Picture: Howard Roe/

“But all we had talked about went out of the window in the first 15 minutes of the second half when they scored those three tries.

“Even though we did defend our line really well (during the game) we conceded two really soft tries (from our point of view) during that period and we’ll have a really good look at that this week.

“Because most of their forwards are short and stocky and awkward to tackle they are very hard to stop near the line when they get good ruck speed and get momentum.

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“The pleasing thing was that we showed some character and scored two good tries to get back into the game after trailing 22-6 and had Benny (Johnston) managed to get the ball down when over the line - credit Sheffield though for It was a great tackle by them to manage to twist his body at the last second to prevent us going level 14 minutes from time with the conversion to come.

“So, it could have gone either way and it was a really good hit out. But (going forward) we’ve just got to be smarter in the way that we play because we just gave ourselves far too much to do at times.

“We are a new team and we are still finding our feet and what works best for us in terms of how we want to play the game. We’ll keep mixing things up but by the start of the Championship next month we’ll be there or thereabouts in terms of our structure and systems.”