Hemel Stags 24 Doncaster RLFC 50: Ten-try Dons get back to winning ways
Doncaster RLFC got back to winning ways when posting a 50-24 League One victory over bottom club Hemel Stags on their first visit to the Pennine Way Stadium.
Stags threatened an upset after scoring 12 points without reply to close the interval gap to just eight points. But the Dons, who parted company with head coach Gary Thornton in midweek, regained control in the second half.
The Dons rode their luck when winger Marcus Elliot dropped the ball over the line and scored the first of their ten tries within a minute or so. Tom Carr standing in at stand-off making the break which led to winger Ritchie Barnett going over wide out.
The visitors struck again on 12 minutes, strong-running centre Jason Tali breaking the line around the halfway mark before sending in skipper Kyle Kesik for his second try in as many games.
Carr added the extras prior to touching down wide out from close range following good work by winger Sam Doherty in the build-up.
It continued to be mainly one-way traffic with Tali adding a fourth try, converted by Carr, to make it 20-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Hemel pegged six points back four minutes later when loose-forward Whitehead dummied his way over from close range for a try goaled by full-back Mitch Vincent.
Carr - who proved a handful for the home side in the first half - started and finished the move which led to the Dons fifth try, which he also converted, just short of the half-hour mark.
Just when it looked as though the Dons were cruising to victory, Stags hit back with two converted tries in the last ten minutes of the half.
The first came when a grubber-kick by Matthews wrong-footed the Doncaster defence over the line and Reece Williams touched down with Wayne Jowett crashing over four minutes later.
The Dons regained the momentum after the restart with Tali claiming his second try from close range within two minutes.
Australian half-back Jordie Hedges claimed Doncaster’s seventh try, which scrum-half Jack Miller converted, to make it 36-18 ten minutes later.
The Dons continued to stretch their lead with Doherty capitalising on a neat grubber kick to the wing by Miller to touch down.
The Keepmoat Stadium club continued to turn pressure into points, during what proved a very productive third quarter, with Barnett bagging his second to make it 44-18.
Barnett had what would have been his hat-trick try disallowed with Green missing out on a try his first league game for three years when dropping the ball over the line.
Full-back Louis Sheriff raced in from 20 metes out on 66 minutes after prop Zac Braham had broken through from halfway. Miller tagged on the extras to bring up the 50 point mark.
Stags were not ready to throw in the towel and claimed a fourth converted try to record their highest points tally of the season. season.
Dons: Sheriff, Barnett,Welham, Tali, Doherty, Carr, Miller; Spiers, Kesik, Braham, Martin, England, Green. Subs: Castle, Wright, Aizue, Hedges.