Doncaster RLFC: Paul Cooke pleased with pre-season progress

Photo by Rob Terrace
Photo by Rob Terrace

Despite successive defeats, Dons player-coach Paul Cooke is happy with how the club’s pre-season campaign is going.

“I was pleased with how we played against Castleford,” said Cooke.

“Considering that we had so little of the football in the first half to defend like we did was very pleasing and obviously a big improvement on the game against Hull when we conceded 16 early points and were chasing our tails a little bit.

“So we made strides forward in most areas against a strong Castleford side.

“When you play against a lot of players with first-grade experience like they had it is obviously difficult, but I thought the players stuck with them and had a dig.”

Although happy to see his charges turn around trailing just 10-6 after being on the back-foot for long periods, Cooke said there were lessons to be learned.

“I thought our kicking game was poor in the first half and I felt the difference between the two teams was the last tackle option and play.

“So that is an area which we need to improve but to defend like we did, and to restrict a team like them to only ten points, was obviously a massive effort and something I was really pleased with.”

Castleford added four more tries in the second half, the last two being scored late on, but the Dons came more into their own in attack and could easily have had another try to show for their efforts.

“The 32-12 score probably gives the impression that the game was easier for Castleford than it actually was,” said Cooke.