Doncaster RLFC: Richard Horne’s familiar message following Workington defeat

Richard Horne
Richard Horne

Doncaster RLFC have dropped out of the Betfred League One promotion play-off spots for the first time this season.

Their 34-6 defeat at Workington Town on Sunday saw them drop three places to seventh on points difference.

Head coach Richard Horne had plenty of time to reflect on the club’s third defeat in four games on the long journey back from West Cumbria - rarely a happy hunting ground for the Dons over the years - on Sunday evening.

But his post-match comments echoed those of previous defeats and served to underline areas his charges need to be better at in the second half of the season which starts with a daunting trip to face leaders Bradford Bulls on Sunday.

“Basic errors cost us at key times and our completion rate wasn’t good enough,” he said.

“We also have to be better at dealing with teams who have big players in the middle (forwards).”

Horne checked on the fitness of several players who missed Sunday’s game, including forwards Charlie Martin and Frankie Mariano, at training this week.

Brought in to help boost a forward pack which has struggled to compete physically at times against sides above and around them this season in late April, Scottish international Mariano has missed the last three games.

Horne set his side a top-four target at the midway point of the season but knows that automatic promotion is already realistically out of sight with the title looking to be a two-horse race between Bradford and York City Knights.

He had hoped to be much closer to York than is currently the case in the race to secure home advantage in both the semi-final and final of the play-offs.