York City Knights v Doncaster RLFC: ‘We’ll certainly be fired up’ - Thornton

Gary Thornton
Gary Thornton

Doncaster RLFC will not lack incentive in tonight’s re-arranged League One Super 8s clash against York City Knights at Bootham Crescent (7.30pm).

“We want to finish fourth and to do that we’ve got to beat York otherwise we’ll be three points behind with just one game left,” said head coach Gary Thornton.

Injuries continue to disrupt Thornton’s plans with second-rower Mason Tonks (ankle) and back-rower Joe Picketts-O’Donnell (knee) both ruled out after picking up knocks at Rochdale that could end their season.

Hopes that leading try-scorer Jason Tali (knee) could return to the backs after more than a month on the sidelines have failed to materialise.

But props Makali Aizue and Zac Braham, who have both been on the sidelines in recent weeks, proved their fitness during Tuesday night’s training session and will feature.

“Neither man is 100 per cent fit and they may struggle for match fitness but we’ve got little option but to play them,” said Thornton.

“They both moved better than last week in training so we’ll strap them up and see how they go.”

Having been sacked by the Minstermen two years ago, Thornton has personal reasons for wanting to make a winning return to the city.

He also shares the desire of his players in wanting to avenge a 46-16 league defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium back in March.

“It was our worst home performance in the league and it still hurts and the players have been looking forward to putting the record straight in what I expect will be a fiery encounter,” he said.

“We’ll certainly be fired up.”

n Dons’ end-of-season awards night, including two-course meal and disco, will take place on Friday, September 16, at the Keepmoat Stadium. Tickets are £25 for adults, £15 juniors.