Doncaster face a near impossible task to hang on to their Championship status following yesterday’s defeat at Leigh and other results going against them on the last day of the regular season.
The club’s 66-10 defeat against table-topping Leigh Centurions at the Leigh Sports Village, coupled with wins for Whitehaven (Saturday), Batley and Workington, leaves them 13 points from safety (taking points difference) with just seven games in the new-look Champions Shield competition.
The new format will see the Dons entertain Featherstone, Dewsbury and Batley and visit London, Workington, Whitehaven and Hunslet.
“It’s obviously going to be very tough to stay up,” said Dons’ boss Gary Thornton.
“We’ve got to win all our games and hope other results go for us.”
Reflecting on yesterday’s defeat, Thornton said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed with the scoreline but they are a very good side.
“We knew it was going to be hard but I thought we showed a lot of spirit in the first half after conceding two early tries.
“I was certainly happy with the way things were going at 10-4 with half-an-hour gone, but those two tries just before half-time killed us a little bit.”
“That said we started the second half well but we gave them three really soft tries from our point of view and I was a bit disappointed with our right-hand side - especially as we had spoken about the threat they posed.”
Thornton, who will learn details of when games will be played on Wednesday, plans to bring in his squad just twice this week and also give them the weekend off before stepping up preparations for the first Championship Shield game the following weekend next week.