Why promotion is again proving difficult for Doncaster RLFC

Unlike back in the mid-90s Doncaster RLFC have a stadium which would grace the Super League were they ever to reach the top flight again.

By Steve Hossack
Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 10:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 8:34 pm
The Dons look like they'll have to win promotion the hard way via the play-offs.
The Dons look like they'll have to win promotion the hard way via the play-offs.

But before anyone connected with the Dons can start dreaming of entertaining the big names again the club needs to win promotion back to the Championship and then look to become competitive in an increasingly tough second tier.

The first stage of that ambition is proving more difficult than many people envisaged when they were relegated to League One in 2015 just 12 months after finishing fourth in the second tier.

Having flattered to deceive at the business end of last season after finishing third there was a steely determination within the Doncaster camp at the start of the campaign to make amends.

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But League One has proved to be tougher than expected and the Dons will do well to equal third spot and improve on their play-off record.

Having to play away from their home base for two months of the season continues to put the Dons at a disadvantage and they lost both league games – albeit against the current top two sides.

Given the closeness of both games many supporters will no doubt feel that had they been played at the Keepmoat Stadium the Dons would have won them both - something which would have significantly boosted their prospects of finishing in the top two.

Injuries have also hit the club hard this season though the picture is starting to look brighter with the likes of Brandon Douglas, Brad England and Brandan Wilkinson on the verge of returning to action.

The loss of dual-registered Hull FC players Hakim Miloudi, Liam Harris, Cameron Scott and Jez Litten has also had an adverse effect on the Doncaster squad and will likely do so going forward.