Doncaster RLFC v Sheffield Eagles: Do-or-die time for the Dons

Paul Cooke
Paul Cooke

It’s do-or-die for Doncaster’s Championship Grand Final hopes in Sunday’s quarter-final against Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Despite the fact that the Dons finished a place higher than the defending champions, and have home advantage, they could start underdogs due to a late-season injury crisis.

“It’s been a long season,” said chief executive Carl Hall.

“We started pre-season training a lot earlier than most clubs because we wanted to get off to a good start - and a lot of the boys are tired and busted.

“Five of the side which played in our last home match against Batley missed the play-off game at Leigh and we were so depleted that coach Chris Spurr was 18th man.

“We also picked up another couple of injuries, in what I felt was a very spirited performance against a full-strength Leigh team.

“I thought that we gave it a real good go and I was really proud of the boys.

“We all know how good a side Leigh are and they were the better side on the day – though I don’t think the score reflected the game.

“We had a chance to lead 20-6 at one stage in the first half and had we done that it could have been a different game because I’m not sure how Leigh would have recovered.”

Despite the squad’s limitations, Hall pledges the club will be up for the battle against the in-form Eagles.

Hall and player-coach Paul Cooke took in Eagles’ 16-0 play-off win over Batley at the Keepmoat on Saturday.

“I don’t think Eagles playing there will give them any extra advantage on Sunday,” said Hall.

“They’ve played their a number of times before.”