Doncaster RLFC: Richard Horne reacts to Hull FC defeat and gives verdict on triallists Kieron Lawton and Ryan Dixon

Dons' coach Richard Horne
Dons' coach Richard Horne

Doncaster RLFC head coach Richard Horne admitted he hadn’t expected Hull FC to post such an emphatic pre-season win over his charges as proved to be the case at the Keepmoat Stadium at the weekend.

But Horne, who is also a prominent member of the Super League club’s coaching staff, claimed that there were extenuating circumstances which contributed to their 72-12 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday.

Horne said: “We lost two players before the game and we were down to 14 fit players after just 30 minutes so our planned rotation went straight out of the window.

“Consequently we had people playing in positions they don’t normally play in and middles (forwards) playing for much longer than they should have and it showed out there in some of the contacts.

“It took a toll on us a little bit but I can’t fault their efforts.”

Reflecting on other aspects of the club’s first warm-up game, on a day when very little went wrong for an impressive Hull outfit, Horne said: “I was disappointed with how we played around the ruck. I thought that we’d compete better and I felt that they dominated in that area.”

One of the plus points for Horne was the performances of two amateur trialists including wing Kieron Lawton – the teenage son of former club captain Craig Lawton.

“He was only supposed to come on for 20 minutes but ended up playing 80 minutes because we lost Liam Welham,” said Horne.

“For a 16-year-old kid to come out there and play the way he did against an experienced Hull team was pleasing. He made some errors due to lack of experience but overall he had a really solid game.

“I also thought Ryan Dixon had a solid performance considering that he’d never played at this level before.

“He’s from the amateur game and he’s someone we’ve taken a punt on and I was really happy for him when he was named man of the match.”