Doncaster RLFC: Keighley clash '˜is must-win'
Doncaster RLFC assistant coach Pete Green rates tomorrow's home Betfred League One clash against Keighley Cougars as a '˜must win' game.
“We are currently fourth on points difference but if we lose we could find ourselves down in sixth or seventh which is not where we want to be,” said Green.
Cougars are one of five teams level on points with the Dons, who have lost their last two league games, and check in at the Keepmoat Stadium on a run of three successive wins.
“They’ve had a bit of an up and down season but we are expecting another tough game and we’ve got to get our tactics right on the day,” said Green.
“They got a big pack and we’ll be looking to try and play some football as I’m sure they’ll be looking to do because it is a massive game for them as well.”
The game will see the home debut of highly-rated Hull FC prop Lewis Bienek.
The Black and Whites beat of a number of top clubs to sign the 20-year-old last season from Championship side London Broncos, where he has been on loan for much of this season.
Bienek, who hadn’t featured regularly for Broncos prior to moving to Doncaster, made his debut in the 32-12 defeat at Oldham last weekend after just two training sessions.
“We felt that we were lacking a bit of punch and a bit of size in the middles (forwards) and Lewis helps to give us that,” said Green.
The Dons are boosted by the return of second-rower Brad England, hooker Kieran Cross and prop Russ Spiers but recent signing Frankie Mariano is still a week away.
But they will lack the services of Doncaster-based prop Zac Braham, who has linked up with former boss Gary Thornton at Hunslet after asking for his release this week.
“I’m sorry to see Zac leave because it was me who recommended both him and Kieran (Cross) to the club when they were at Doncaster Toll Bar,” said Green.
“I think he was feeling a bit down as he hadn’t been playing as well recently as he was at the start of the season and the fact that Rich (head coach Richard Horne) has been rotating the squad because he wanted to play every week.
“But when Rich pulls players out he talks to them about the things they need to work on in the hope that they’ll be better players come the end of the season.
“As a front-rower, Zac is probably four or five years away from his peak.
“He’s got things he need to work on but he’s got a lot of time to do it.
“He’s got a lot of natural talent and he’s strong and athletic and I’m sure he’ll do well wherever he goes.”
Green didn’t rule out the possibility of Braham returning to the club at some future date.
“He left on good terms and the door is always open. You never say never.”