Doncaster RLFC: Thornton with plenty to ponder ahead of big kick-off

Gary Thornton
Gary Thornton

Dons boss Gary Thornton can now focus fully on the start of the 2016 campaign against North Wales on Sunday week.

Sunday’s 26-18 defeat against a young Leeds side completed the club’s pre-season campaign during which every fit player has been given the chance to stake their claim for a place in the side to face Crusaders in the iPro Cup.

Thornton will reflect on the game at tonight’s training session and admits there are things to work on.

“I was disappointed with certain aspects of our performance and we tended to go sideways at times rather than go forward and that in turn made it hard for the half-backs,” he said.

“But it was nice to see Matt Nicholson and Makali Aizue in action for the first time and Makali, in particular, showed glimpses of what we want him to do.

“We set off very well, scored an early try and could have had a second but Zak Braham apparently had the ball knocked out of his hands over the line. But then we seemed to drop off and they came back into it and their three Super League players caused us problems.

“I questioned the players’ attitude at half time and I thought we came out in the second half and gave it a go and got it back to 18-all with ten minutes to go. It was disappointing to lose the game having got back on level terms but it is difficult when you are making a lot of changes and it becomes disjointed.”