Richard Horne urges in-form Doncaster RLFC not to take their foot off the gas

Richard Horne

Barring some unlikely results, Doncaster RLFC need to win just one of their remaining two games to make sure of retaining third place in Betfred League One.

Following the weekend’s games the Dons are now two points clear of the chasing pack of whom only fifth-placed Oldham have a better points difference.

“A month ago we’d have been happy to finish in the top five and see where that would take us in the play-offs,” said head coach Richard Horne.

“But we’ve finished the season really strongly and third place is a good position to be in at this stage of the season.

“But we’ve still got Workington Town, who beat us easily at their place, and North Wales Crusaders to play.

“The last time we played North Wales they ran us close at the Keepmoat. They are a big, physical outfit and if we gift them position through giving away penalties they’’ll cause us problems on Sunday at their place.

“But we’ll be going there on the back of eight successive wins and we’ve got some key creative players in really good form which makes a massive difference when it comes to creating scoring opportunities.”

The Dons equalled their biggest ever win (50-6) over Keighley and their biggest ever win at Cougar Park on Sunday.

“Although we led 16-0 at half time having played up the slope our execution wasn’t quite there at times in the first half,” reflected Horne. “We had a couple of opportunities to put the game to bed and we didn’t take them.”

The sending-off of utility man Jordie Hedges, who is likely to miss the play-offs, took some of the gloss off the Dons’ win.

“I don’t think the tackle was that bad or that it was intentional,” argued Horne. “I thought a yellow card would have been sufficient.

“I thought that we dealt with playing with 12 men for over half the game really well.

“I thought Jack Sanderson was outstanding at full-back. He made 14 or 15 carries and made good yardage which helped the middles (forwards).”

Winger Sam Doherty was another back to catch Horne’s eye even though his opposite number scored Keighley’s only try midway through the second half.

“It would have been nice to have kept them scoreless but I thought that Sam had an outstanding game so you can’t be too critical of his part in their try – especially as he took a poke in the eye just before that,” said Horne.

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