Paul Cooke: Dons ‘buzzing’ after ending Leigh’s perfect record

The Dons on their way to a great victory

The Dons on their way to a great victory

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Doncaster produced a magnificent battling performance to beat runaway Championship leaders Leigh Centurions at the Keepmoat Stadium.

In avenging a 50-20 defeat at Leigh earlier in the season, the Dons dashed the Lancashire club’s hopes of going through the league campaign with a 100 per cent record.

Player-coach Paul Cooke’s pre-match assessment that his charges had to be at their best and Leigh a little below their brilliant best for there to be an upset, proved to be spot on.

“A team doesn’t go 18 games unbeaten without being a very, very good side and you have to be a good team to beat them,” said Cooke, who missed his first game of the season with a neck problem.

“The place is really buzzing and we are delighted. I want the players to enjoy the moment because these sort of games don’t come along very often, but at the same time I want them to be very mindful that we’ve not achieved anything yet.”

Despite the fact that the Dons trailed 16-6 at the break, Cooke said he remained confident.

“I thought that we were still in the game and that if we took more right options in their end of the field, we could still win it,” he said.

“They had hung on at times (in the first half) and their completion rate was not very good and ours had been okay.

“Matt Carbutt and Steve Snitch, in particular, were immense in the forwards.

Cooke also praised Hull FC dual-registered backs Ben Crooks and Jacob Miller.