THE Dons have taken up wrestling to help them grapple with the increased physicality of the Championship.
Head coach Tony Miller offered insight into the Dons’ training regime after their impressive 26-4 win over fellow division newcomers Workington Town last weekend.
And it transpires talisman Paul Cooke has introduced wrestling to work on strength in defence for the Dons, who travel to Leigh Centurions on Sunday (3pm).
Miller said: “Defence is something we’ve done a lot of over the winter because we knew the step up to the Championship would bring a much tougher test physically.
“We’ve done more weight sessions and the lads have done more wrestling to get physically stronger for this league.
“We know if we can’t compete on a skill level in this division, we need to be able to match the opposition physically if we’re going to stay up,
“If you lose out in the ruck, it’s going to be very difficult to win any game.
“We’ve done quite a but of work on wrestling and defensive techniques.
“Paul Cooke’s taken a lot of the sessions. He’s done quite a bit of it and he’s been passing on techniques on how to get up quicker and where to put your body.
“It’s the difference between a slow play the ball and a quick play.
“The lads have really bought into it and it’s paid off so far.”
Miller admits his side are expected to lose on Sunday but that only takes the pressure off the Dons, as does their haul of seven points from a possible nine so far.
He said: “We can just go there and show them what we can do – there’s no pressure on the lads because Leigh are expected to win.”
Chris Spurr (shoulder), Lee Waterman (shoulder) and Mike Kelly (whiplash) are the main doubts for the trip.