Doncaster RLFC drawn against Batley in Challenge Cup

Doncaster RLFC will host Championship strugglers Batley Bulldogs in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 9:51 pm
Dons' coach Richard Horne
Dons' coach Richard Horne

The Dons tamed National Conference League amateurs Featherstone Lions to take their place as one of only two League One sides to reach the fifth round.

The tie against Batley – comfortably moved into the fifth round with a win over Castleford amateurs Lock Lane – will take place on the weekend of April 12.

Dons head coach Richard Horne, a former Challenge Cup winner with Hull FC, admitted to being frustrated by aspects of their performance despite seeing his charges post a 46-6 win over the Lions.

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“We are in the next round which is what it was all about but it was painful to watch at times,” he said.

“We had a bit more quality than they had on the day and that got us out of trouble but as regards the overall team performance we didn’t build any real pressure and made too many errors.

“We played poorly and won but if it had been against another league team then we’d not be in tonight’s (Monday) draw.

“We scored a lot of our tries from off-the-cuff moves and some individual brilliance and good support play and that was enough to get the job done.”

Kieran Cross was involved in a number of the tries.

“Kieran’s probably hasn’t had the best of starts to a season so it was good to see that he’s found some good form,” said Horne. “But, as I said, we should have been better at building some pressure.

“We were camped in our own 30 for long periods of the first half and the 20-6 score-line probably flattered us; it should have been closer.

“They had made it competitive in the first half but we got away from them with those two early tries in the second half.

“Having said that. our completion rate in the second half was only 35 per cent and we have to be better in that aspect of the game.

“They were just basic errors and it kept them in the game but if they could have shaped up and executed a little bit better on shift plays they would have caused us more problems.

But they played a lot of one-out rugby which helped us and we looked comfortable defending even though we had a lot of it to do.

“I thought they went well and they slowed the rucks down. But when we did get a good ruck tempo we either made a break or we scored and that’s how we had spoken about wanting to play.

“They stuck at it and matched us for ten or 15 minutes and then we’d score a couple of quickly-taken tries on the back of quick tempo but we didn’t do that enough.”