Doncaster RLFC boss Richard Horne delighted to overcome ‘tricky’ Newcastle Thunder test

Dons' head coach Richard Horne against Newcastle Thunder.
Dons' head coach Richard Horne against Newcastle Thunder.

Doncaster RLFC took advantage of Workington Town’s defeat to climb into third place in the Betfred League One with three games to go.

While the Cumbrians were going down narrowly at home to leaders York, the Dons beat a spirited Newcastle Thunder side 38-21 at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“Obviously it was a good result for us and puts us in a good position going forward and it’s looking increasingly likely that our game against them in our final league game of the season in three weeks’ time will decide third place,” said head coach Richard Horne.

Although deserved winners the Dons didn’t always have it their own way in an entertaining encounter during which they scored several well-worked tries.

“We knew it was going to be physical because they’ve got aggressive line speed and are always full of energy. They don’t have the biggest middles but they are very solid and as a team they were quick around the ruck area,” said Horne.

“There were times during the game when we controlled them very well and then we sort of switched off for a spell but overall I was pleased with the performance.

“We spoke before the game about just getting a result because we knew it could be really tricky. They did a job on us up there in the league earlier in the season and probably deserved a result on the day so we knew we had to be good to pick up the two points.”

One of the highlights of the club’s seventh successive league win was a spectacular length-of-the-field try instigated by full-back Hakim Miloudi and scored by winger Jack Sanderson.

“It was probably the try of the season; you won’t get any better than that,” said Horne.

“Hakim is a character and great for the game and great for us and hopefully we can keep him (on dual-registration from Hull) until the end of the season.”

Although players from both sides were involved in a late flare-up which was put on report Horne doesn’t expect any action to be taken against any of the players involved and praised prop Connor Scott’s discipline during the incident which saw a Newcastle man sent-off.