London Skolars 18 Doncaster RLFC 42: Dons finish strong to return to winning ways

Aaron Jones-Bishop scored for the fourth successive game. Photo: Rob Terrace
Aaron Jones-Bishop scored for the fourth successive game. Photo: Rob Terrace

Doncaster RLFC produced a dominant second half display as they returned to winning ways in Betfred League One with a 42-18 win over London Skolars at the New River Stadium.

The high-flying Dons ran in five tries, three of them coming late on, after the break to finish convincing winners.

The Dons were quickly out of their blocks on the 4G pitch surrounded by an athletics track with loose-forward Brandan Wilkinson breaking through in the second minute.

Dual-registered Hull FC star Hakim Miloudi, who had missed the home defeat against Bradford Bulls due to being called up by the Black & Whites for their Super League clash away to Catalans Dragons last weekend, added the extras.

Centre Liam Welham, who has shown impressive form since winning his place back in the side, looked to have scored Doncaster’s second try when getting on the end of a grubber-kick by Miloudi but he was adjudged to have been in front of the kicker.

Miloudi, who formed a new-look half-back combination with Liam Harris, dummied his way into space and then ‘danced’ past London full-back Elliot Hall to score.

The Frenchman’s conversion came back off the post and there was another let-off for the home side when Welham failed to collect a cross-field kick close to the line.

What could have been 14-0 with the conversion to come, became 10-6 when London second-rower Lamont Bryan forced his way over for a 24th minute converted try.

The Dons lost some of their earlier dominance and the home side, who had won three of their previous four games, hit the front on 33 minutes when the influential Neil Thorman, who again added the extras, sent Hall over to make it 12-10.

The visitors regained the lead on the stroke of half time when free-scoring hooker Kieran Cross sold a trademark dummy and shot over for a try which Miloudi converted to open up a four-point gap.

Cross, last season’s joint top try-scorer, was in again six minutes after the restart after breaking the line just inside the London half and then dummying the cover before racing over for a second converted try.

No sooner had the cheers from the Doncaster supporters died down than Cross’s former Doncaster Toll Bar team-mate Zac Braham bumped off a defender before touching down. Miloudi’s conversion made it 28-12.

Skolars looked to be facing an uphill battle and their cause wasn’t helped when half-back Jy-Mel Coleman limped off.

But they weren’t about to throw in the towel and hooker Billy Driver went close on the hour.

Hall threw his side a lifeline when shooting through a gap to claim his second converted try to close the gap to just ten points midway through the last quarter.

But that was as good as it got for Skolars as Aaron Jones-Bishop rounded off some good handling to score for the fourth successive game.

Miloudi then raced in from just inside his own half after intercepting a loose pass. Miloudi was also involved in the last try of the game scored by Welham who finished well.

Dons: Owen, Sanderson, Welham, Tali, Jones-Bishop, Miloudi, Harris; Scott, Kesik, Spiers, Martin, Downs, Wilkinson. Subs: Muranka, Mariano, Cross, Braham.