Doncaster Dons: Home form ‘crucial’

Rugby League
Rugby League

DONS coach Tony Miller is confident the club can hold their own in the Co-operative Championship.

Last year’s double winners Doncaster launch their return to the second tier at home to Dewsbury Rams on Sunday (3pm).

And Miller says his side’s form at the Keepmoat Stadium will be vital in their bid to stabilise in the Championship.

Miller said: “First of all we need to consolidate and stay in the division.

“A mid-table finish this time around will be as good a season as last season for us.

“Clubs like Featherstone, Halifax, Sheffield and Batley are probably a bit ahead of everybody else.

“But below that it’s an open playing field.

“If you get it right on the day you have a realistic chance of beating the other teams at home.

“Like we did last season, we’ll target out home games and then try and pick up as many wins and bonus points away from home as possible.

“We know it’s going to be tough but I think we’ll be okay.”

Doncaster are hoping to build on a sensational 2012, which saw them win both the Championship One title and play-off Grand Final, by cementing their spot in the second tier.

The Dons last played in the Championship in 2009 after Ellery Hanley guided them to promotion but, following Hanley’s resignation, they were relegated after just one season.

That same year Doncaster also went into administration before current chief executive Carl Hall bailed the club out with a rescue package.

Miller’s side have prepared for Sunday’s league opener with victories against Featherstone U20s and Keighley Cougars, although they were well beaten in their final friendly against their Super League partner club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday.

Winger Stewart Sanderson scored a consolation try in a 44-4 defeat at the Keepmoat.

“In the first half we didn’t do ourselves justice,” said Miller. “They were just too strong for us.

“The second half was a lot better. I thought we matched them for long periods.

“There are a few areas we need to fix up this week in time for Sunday but we did a lot of good stuff too.

“I thought we’d struggle around the ruck area but we did well in there. I thought there were more positives than negatives.”

Craig Robinson (calf) and Grant Edwards (concussion) are both doubtful for this weekend.