Doncaster RLFC suffered what could prove to be a costly 20-18 home defeat to Hunslet when the honours are up for grabs at the end of the Betfred League One campaign.
“It was a frustrating game,” said head coach Richard Horne, who had been looking to build on the opening day win at Newcastle in what was viewed as a key four-pointer.
“I thought that we started well and were in control for the first 30 minutes and led 12-0.
“But then we got caught up in the grubbiness of the game and they turned it into a dog fight.
“There were a lot of cheap shots and I feel that the referee should have acted when it all started to happen. He just let the game get away from him a little bit.
“They finished the half strongly and got it back to 12-10 and we spoke at half-time about the need to regain the momentum at the start of the second half.
“Although we scored first to go 18-10 up we got caught up in one-out rugby in the second half and that wasn’t how we had wanted to play because they’ve probably got one of the biggest pack sin the division.
“Obviously it didn’t help having to make positional changes in the backs due to injuries and we lost our shape. And with everything that was going on I think they got into the heads of the boys and they tried to run over the top of them.
“Whereas if we had shaped up better and played more footie then we wouldn’t have been in the situation we found ourselves in.
“But credit to Hunslet for having to defend with 11 men at times in the final quarter and keeping us out in addition to scoring a try to get back in the game at 18-16.”