Doncaster RLFC coach reflects on Challenge Cup win over Coventry

Dons' coach Richard Horne
Dons' coach Richard Horne

Head coach Richard Horne admitted that the margin of victory in Doncaster RLFC’s Coral Challenge Cup third round win over Coventry Bears on Friday night flattered them.

“The 38-16 scoreline does not reflect the game,” said the former Challenge Cup winner.

“We need to be better whoever we play in the next round.

“Our overall performance wasn’t good enough. The standards we have set ourselves just weren’t there – particularly in the first half.

“I thought we finished the last 20 really well when we did things we had spoken about such as upping the tempo of the game and we scored some good tries,

“But credit to Coventry. I thought they played well - particularly in the first 20 minutes - and fully deserved their 8-0 lead.

“They’ve got some boys who can carry the ball and off-load and players with pace who can cause you problems if you gift them possession and good field positions.

“I also thought they did a really good job in the rucks though I felt the referee might have given us a few more penalties than he did for players laying on.

“We got in front and led 12-8 at half time, which we probably didn’t deserve, but that’s rugby league some times.”

Both close-season signing Brandon Douglas and Matty Beharrell capped good performances with a brace of tries.

“Brandon’s a big man and he’s hard to handle near the line,” said Horne.

“Other teams have players like him and it’s good to have one in our team.

“Matty tried to get things going in the first half (setting up a try for Brandon) and he also scored our last two tries.”

With no dual-registered players available and several players on the sidelines, Horne took the chance to give a run to trialist wing Lee Baptise and forward Stefanos Bastas,

“Lee made a couple of errors, probably due to nerves, but he’s quick and gets involves and he carries the ball well and he is very keen,” said Horne, who took an interest in the Leeds-based student last year.

“He’s very green but we can work on that. I also thought Stefanos did his job in the middle. He showed good energy and took the ball in well.”