Doncaster targeting top says Paul Cooke

GOING FOR GOLD: Paul Cooke insists promotion is the bare minimum the Dons want from this season.
GOING FOR GOLD: Paul Cooke insists promotion is the bare minimum the Dons want from this season.

THE Dons will not be content with simply winning promotion this season, according to Paul Cooke.

Though a top four finish will secure a rise to the Championship, Cooke insists there is a strong desire in the Dons camp to surge into British rugby league’s second tier.

He told the Free Press: “Obviously promotion was the main goal at the start of the season but we have the mindset that fourth place is the bare minimum we want to achieve.

“With the way we’ve started and how well we’ve been playing, we think we’re more than capable of taking that top spot and doing well in the play offs.”

The Dons may have only lost twice in their opening ten games but those two defeats have left former Super League ace Cooke frustrated and he is determined to put things right in the reverse fixtures.

He said: “Losing at Workington and Barrow was really disappointing and I’ve thought more about those two games than any of those we have won.

“We played really well in patches and should have won but we made too many mistakes.

“Games like those live with you because you know you could have been a lot more comfortable.

“But I’m really confident when they come to our place that we’ll win.

“The home form has been excellent and we’re confident of beating anyone at the Keepmoat.”

The Dons’ attacking play drew much praise as they raced to the top of the scoring charts.

Much of that has been down to link up play on the left between Cooke, Tom Hodson, Lee Waterman and Craig Robinson.

But Cooke refuses to let this group take all the credit.

He said: “We’ve had a lot of attention, mainly because of the number of tries that Tom and Lee have scored.

“But the lads on the right side have being doing as well as us.

“Craig Fawcett, Chris Spurr and Craig Lawton have been excellent this season and their work is as valuable as ours.

“It’s been a real team effort, you can’t get far in this game without that.”

Cooke completed his epic endurance task of seven marathons in seven days earlier this week, raising several thousand pounds for Dove House hospice in Hull.

The Dons are back in action on Sunday following a four week break.

Championship One’s winless bottom side Gateshead Thunder visit the Keepmoat (3pm).

The home clash with Workington Town, scheduled for July 22, has been moved back to Thursday July 26 (7.30pm) and will be shown live on Premier Sports.