Super eight-try win by Dons

Mark Castle scores under the posts in the first half for Dons
Mark Castle scores under the posts in the first half for Dons

The Dons head out on their month-long road trip with the parting gift of a comfortable win over Rochdale at the Keepmoat.

Consecutive defeats were blitzed from the memory as they largely bossed their clash against the struggling Hornets and ran in eight tries.

And it proved a welcome tonic as they prepare for four straight away games due to the relaying of the Keepmoat pitch.

The highlight was a late stunning length-of-the pitch of the pitch try from the jet-heeled Dave Scott, putting the icing on the cake in some style.

The Dons quelled any fears they would underestimate Rochdale with two tries inside the first ten minutes.

Steady build-up play helped create the space for co-captain Kyle Kesik to cross over after just two minutes with Scott slotting over the first of four successful conversions.

And then a trademark long-range Paul Cooke pass cut out two men before Shaun Leaf collected with the try line on a plate.

Rochdale had barely left their own half during the first quarter of the game so it was somewhat surprising when they hit back on the 20 minute mark as Shaun Robinson plucked a high bomb out of the air, giving him a clear run to the line. Paul Crook converted.

Mark Castle ensured normal play resumed four minutes later as he powered through half a gap following a patient phase from the Dons.

The game dipped somewhat following the Dons’ third, descending into a middle field battle.

But the hosts did grab another before the break when Tom Hodson raced through to score in the corner, giving the Dons a 16 point lead at half time.

The Dons were at their most slick as they increased their lead four minutes into the second half. A break from Richard Wilkinson sparked the passage of play which saw the ball moved out wide for Hodson to add his second.

By the 55th minute it was effectively game over. Cooke broke from half way, ran himself into trouble but recovered superbly to send the ball out wide where Wilkinson raced in.

Scott Spaven further cemented the lead six minutes later after powering home from close range.

Rochdale took advantage of the Dons’ effort levels dropping to grab a second try with James Dandy stretching over.

But it was very much best saved for last from the Dons perspective. Scott collected a grubber virtually on his own line and sprinted at a superb pace to score.