Doncaster RLFC: Matty Beharrell set to make Dons debut at York

Pete Green
Pete Green

Matty Beharrell is set to make his debut for Doncaster RLFC in tomorrow’s testing Betfred League One clash against second-placed York City Knights at Bootham Crescent (3pm).

The highly-rated scrum-half joined the club last weekend after becoming a free agent as a result of Keighley’s financial problems and is included in the 19-strong squad.

“He’s caused us problems in the past when he’s been on the opposite side and he’s a very tenacious sort of player,” said assistant coach Pete Green.

“He’s a very smart player and a good organiser, which we’ve probably lacked since losing Liam Harris to Hull earlier in the season, and he’ll not be afraid to boss the forwards.

“Hopefully he’ll strike up a good half-back partnership with stand-off Jordan Howden.”

The Dons, who are continuing to talk to players and agents. had been hoping to add at least one other player this week, but are boosted by the return of mid-season signing Frankie Mariano and dual-registered prop Ross Osbourne.

It’s good to have them both back,” said Green. “Frankie has been a bit unlucky with injuries since he joined us from Featherstone but he brings a lot of experience to the side.

“Ross gives us something different in the front-row. He’s dangerous near the line, he’s a smart player and he’s got a good offload.”

With teenage centre Cameron Scott having played for parent club Hull FC on Thursday night, and Connor Bower still out injured, there is a recall for long-serving Liam Welham.

“Liam is chomping at the bit to play and he’s always said that he is ready to play when needed and he put his hand up,” said Green.

“He’s not played for a few weeks but he’s a bit of a freak of nature in terms of his fitness and you won’t meet many people fitter than him.

“To continue to train, when not playing, and keep himself so fit and be ready to come in is a credit to Liam’s character.”

The only side in a position to challenge Bradford for the title, York became the first side to beat the Dons this season when posting a 16-14 win at the Keepmoat Stadium at the end of March.

“It’s not surprised me how well they have done since because they are very well coached, very well drilled and they’ve been very consistent,” said Green.

“The spine of their team is very good and they’ve got an aggressive pack.

“It would be a massive boost going into the games against other top four sides Hunslet and Oldham later this month were we to come away with a win tomorrow and the lads are quite confident,” said Green.

“I thought that they were physical and enthusiastic when we last played them, as we expect will be the case tomorrow, and I thought that we handled that quite well.

“I think the key for us, as well as defending well, will be controlling the ball and finishing sets where we want to finish them because we need try and build pressure and then take our chances.”