In conditions more suited to the nation’s top summer game, Doncaster RLFC ran up a cricket score in their Betfred League One clash against bottom club West Wales Raiders.
The Dons ran in 18 tries as they posted a club-record 102-6 win in the game played at Featherstone’s LD Nutrition Stadium.
Although welcoming both the victory and the healthy boost to the club’s points difference, those supporters who remember the days when the Dons were the RFL’s whipping boys gave outclassed Raiders a sustained round of applause as they trooped off the field.
Despite having to make a 5am start due to kick-off being brought forward two hours, the Welsh side defended well in the opening stages prior to a long pass by full-back Liam Harris putting winger Richard Owen over in the corner for an unconverted try on eight minutes.
Former Featherstone forward Frankie Mariano sent Hull FC star Harris – who showed what a loss he has been - in for a try he also converted three minutes later to make it 10-0.
Stand-off Jordan Howden showed the cover a clean pair of heels after breaking the line 35 metres out. Harris again added the extras
Mariano kept the scoreboard ticking over after crashing over from close range meaning that the Dons had scored a point a minute in the first quarter.
After comfortably defending Raiders first real threat, the Dons returned to the attack and hooker Kyle Kesik scored near enough for Harris to convert to make it 26-0.
Raiders opened their account on 32 minutes with a well-taken try by stand-off Steven Parry, converted by fellow half-back Fraser Stroud but that was as good as it got though they never adopted spoiling tactics.
Normal service was quickly restored as wing Sam Doherty weighed in with a long-range converted try. No sooner had the cheers died down than Mariano dummied his way over again from close range.
Hooker Jez Litten raced in for another try just before the break after backing up a strong break down the left by Jason Tali. Harris again tagged on the extras to make it 42-6.
Loose-forward Jordie Hedges sent the speedy Litten over for a second converted try within two minutes of the restart.
Harris, who had moved to scrum-half at this point, also proved too quick for the Welsh defence.
Jason Muranka made the running for Brad England’s try shortly after. Harris again tagged on the extras.
Muranka also made the initial break for Litten’s hat-trick try. Litten then turned provider as Hedges raced in for a 55th minute converted try.
It was all too easy now for the Dons now and centre Cameron Scott, prop Russ Spiers and Kesik all touched down in quick succession. Harris converted all three to set a new club points in a game record.
Muranka capped an impressive game with a close-range converted try before winger Aaron Jones-Bishop raced over 90 metres two minutes from time.
Dons: Harris, Doherty, Cameron Scott, Tali, Owen, Howden, Beharrell; Spiers, Kesik, Connor Scott, England, Mariano, Hedges. Subs: Boyle, Jones-Bishop, Litten, Muranka.