Doncaster RLFC: 'We'll make sure we're better this weekend' roars boss ahead of semi-final clash
Doncaster RLFC stole Newcastle’s thunder in their Betfred League One play-off clash at Kingston Park.
The Dons beat the North-east side, who finished one place above them in the regular season, 20-6 to book their place in the semi-final against Oldham at the Vestacare Stadium – where they were heavily beaten last month – this weekend.
Head coach Richard Horne admits it will be another tough test.
“It’s a tough place to go and we know we let ourselves down last time but we’ll make sure we are better this weekend. We are a in a better place as a team than we were then,” he said.
“Having finished second they’ll start favourites on a tight (artificial) pitch which suits them and we know the challenges facing us but we’ll go into the game with a lot of confidence.
“It was a very good performance today and I was really pleased with our defensive display.
“I know we can get better with ball in hand and we could have done things better on occasions but we were building pressure at the time, which is what I asked them to do, so I can’t really complain too much.”
With three players coming off during the game others had to do play more minutes than normal.
“Prop Ryan Boyle played 60 minutes and Levy (Nzoungou) played for all but five minutes or so and it was a massive effort from both boys,” said Horne.
The Dons led 8-0 at the break but could easily have doubled their lead with Matty Beharrell failing to convert all three kicks.
“Matty has been on fire with the boot of late and he had a bit of an off-day in the first half but it didn’t prove costly,” said Horne.
“I was happy to come in ahead at half-time and I just wanted us to tighten up around the ruck because they are a team who, if you let them get on the front foot, are hard to handle.
“They’ve got some quick runners from dummy half and a quick back division and exploit any gaps.
“They came out strongly after the break but our scrambled defence was good and then we scored another couple of tries to put the result beyond doubt.”