Now Dons need a miracle to stay up

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Doncaster RLFC’s hopes of Championship survival remain a mathematical possibility despite losing their opening Championship Shield game 52-12 against London Broncos at The Hive as a result of other results going their way.

But with the club needing to win their remaining six games, overturn a massive points difference and for other results to go their way, realistically relegation remains a case of when not if.

Reflecting on Saturday’s defeat, head coach Gary Thornton said: “It was 6-6 after 20 minutes and we had been well on top at times and had spent a lot of time in their half. But we couldn’t break them down again, which has been a similar story for most of the season.

“We were very much in the game at that stage but they scored three tries, two from kicks, and before we knew it we were 24-6 down at half-time. Even their coach Ian Henderson admitted after the game that he hadn’t seen that coming because we’d been so competitive.

“I had to change the team talk I had ready ten minutes before the break, and which was going to be really positive. Instead the focus was on the fact that we had to score first

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that and they scored a rather fortunate try to make it 30-6. The fact is they are a full-time club and their fitness told on what was a hot day and they scored several long-range tries.

“They ran away with the game a bit in the second half and the final score-line was very disappointing in view of how we’d played in the first half. There were some positives and we’ll keep fighting.”