Doncaster RLFC: Cooke’s harsh introduction to head coach jon

Nev Morrison should be fit for the Dons this weekend.
Nev Morrison should be fit for the Dons this weekend.

If Paul Cooke had not realised before this month what he had let himself in for by becoming a head coach, he certainly knows now.

The Dons’ growing injury crisis has left Cooke spending more time on the phone than the training pitch as he attempts to maintain his side’s good start to the season.

And he has learned the full value of the dual registration system with players arriving from Hull to fill the gaps.

Cooke may have plenty of problems to deal with in the build up to Sunday’s derby with Sheffield Eagles, but he is determined to put out a side who will compete with the defending champions.

“I spent more time on the phone last week than I did on the training field, which tells you why we’re not attacking so well,” said Cooke.

“I went greyer last week trying to arrange a team and seeing what would we could get from Hull.

“We’re ever-reliant on the dual-reg system.

“But I was thankful for the three points at the weekend and now we’ve got to get a team together for Sheffield.

“We’re going there for a result.

“It’s not about damage limitation.”

Liam Cunningham, Danny Nicklas, Kyle Kesik, Brett Waller, Mike Kelly and Matt Carbutt all missed the 20-12 win over North Wales Crusaders last weekend with injury.

Liam Whelham and Ryan Wilson were left out with Cooke bringing in Ben Crooks, Joe Arundel, Liam Kent and Jay Pitts from Hull FC.

Nev Morrison is expected to be fit for the trip to his former club on Sunday after picking up a knock against North Wales.

And Kesik could make his return to the squad after returning to training over the past fortnight.