Doncaster RLFC: Richard Horne promises to use play-off disappointment as a lesson for next season

Richard Horne
Richard Horne

Doncaster RLFC head coach Richard Horne pledged to use his side’s play-off disappointment as a springboard to promotion next season.

The Dons suffered a disappointing 30-18 defeat to Workington Town in a play-off semi-final clash they were the favourites to win.

But Horne says they will use the game as lesson as they plot another push for Championship rugby in 2019.

He added: “We’ll learn from today and use it to motivate ourselves for next season, which will again be a tough comp.

“We’ll set our sights high and try and build on what we’ve achieved  this year.”

Reflecting on the club’s first defeat in eleven games, Horne said: “It’s disappointing to miss out on the final after the players have worked so hard all season to get us to where we finished in the league.

“I think last weekend’s league game against Workington took a lot out of the side in terms of injuries and there were three or four players who needed last-minute fitness tests.

“That didn’t help our preparations but I’m not using that as an excuse because all the players concerned put their hand up to play and got through the game though they might not have been at their best.

“Even though we beat them last week we knew that we would have to be at our best today but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

“We made too many errors, gave away too many penalties and as a consequence we had to do a lot of defending and when we started chasing the game we ran out of energy, though I couldn’t fault the effort.

“Their forwards got on the front foot and their hooker was very smart and I thought their game management was better and we spent most of the first 40 minutes in our own half.

“They were quick out of the blocks and had a try disallowed and it was against the play when we opened up an 8-0 lead after which we started to control the game and then we began to lose the rucks as their forwards ramped up the pressure again and we started to make errors.

“We started to have more of the territory in the second half and our kicking was better but their forwards continued to roll ours and remained dangerous close to the line and I think that was where the game was won.”