Preview: Warrington Wolves v Doncaster

Mike Emmett in action at Sheffield. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Mike Emmett in action at Sheffield. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

The Dons have never lost at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.

In fact, the Dons have nothing but happy memories of the ten-year-old ground having earned two play-off final wins over Oldham (2008) and Barrow (2012).

But with due respect to Oldham and Barrow, the Dons face a much bigger challenge on their visit to the stadium this weekend to take on the might of Super League giants Warrington in Sunday’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round tie.

Joint-captain Mike Emmett is certainly under no illusions how tough the game promises to be.

“They are a top Super League team who have won the Challenge Cup three times in the last five years,” said the loose-forward.

“They’ve probably not made as good a start as in recent seasons, but they’ve lost some key men since last season, including play-maker Lee Briers.

“However, they’ve still got a lot of world class players across the park, so we know what to expect.

“They are a full-time team and are at home against a team from a lower division so they’ll obviously start favourites.

“But I don’t think we’ve got to worry about them too much; it’s all about us and how we perform on the day.”

Dons’ Challenge Cup hopes were ended last season at Super League side Widnes Vikings.

But not before Doncaster gave their loftier opponents a genuine scare, leading 12-0 after 16 minutes and trailing by just four points going into the final quarter of an hour, only to eventually lose 42-28.

“Nobody gave us a chance against Widnes but we gave them a real run for their money and hopefully we’ll give a good account of ourselves again on Sunday,” said Emmett.

“We’ve been playing well in the Championship this season, despite being badly hit by injuries, and we’ll be going there to give it our best shot.

“I’m sure the lads are looking forward to playing in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd.

“As a club we aspire to go on to higher things in the future and playing teams such as Warrington will give us an indication of where we are.

“But we’ve made it clear that our priority this season is the league and we’ll not get down about it if we get beat.

“Whatever the result it won’t affect us going into the home game against Barrow the following weekend.”