Doncaster RLFC 'can handle pressure of win or bust play-off clash'

Doncaster RLFC, who were offered an alternative 6pm start, will be bidding to book their place in the Betfred League One final by beating Newcastle Thunder in their ‘High Noon’ shoot-out at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 10:11 pm
Russ Spiers has been ruled out of the Dons' play-off campaign with a broken hand
Russ Spiers has been ruled out of the Dons' play-off campaign with a broken hand

Just as was the case in the classic 1950’s cowboy film there will only be one winner on the day after both teams have benefited from a second chance in earlier play-off games.

“There’ll be no second chance if we lose on Sunday and that will obviously add to the pressure on the players,” said Dons No 2 Pete Green.

“But the players are confident that we can not only beat Newcastle on Sunday but also Oldham in the final next weekend if we get there.”

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The Dons missed out on their first chance to book their place in the final when going down at Oldham last weekend.

Jordie Hedges, who is due to see a specialist this weekend, suffered a knee injury and prop Russ Spiers suffered what proved to be a broken hand.

“We’ll miss both players,” said Green. “Jordie gives us something different and Russ has played really well since coming back after a two-match ban which gave him time to get over some bumps and bruises.

“We’ve got a couple of other players carrying knocks, as I’m sure will be the case with Newcastle, and we’ll be making a late decision on them.”

Better news for the Dons is that back-rower Brad Foster is available again after serving a two-match ban.

Sunday’s game will be the third meeting of the two clubs, who met a fortnight ago in the first round of the play-offs, at Kingston Park.

“We beat them 20-6 in that game and although they will have thought they could have played better I thought we played really well on the day,” said Green.

“The weather forecast is for heavy rain so it will probably be a tighter game than the previous two times we’ve played them and the team which controls the ball the better and takes their chances will win the game.”