Preview: Swinton Lions v Doncaster RLFC

Mark Castle was among the scorers as the Dons ran in eight tries against Rochdale
Mark Castle was among the scorers as the Dons ran in eight tries against Rochdale

The Dons must maintain their new ruthless edge if they are going to achieve their goals this season according to boss Paul Cooke.

Struggling Rochdale were swept aside with relative ease last weekend, something Cooke is desperate to see more of from his side.

“Before Sunday, we’d not put a team to bed other than Keighley in the second game,” Cooke said.

“Every team we’ve played that we’ve not beaten has taken a bonus point off us and that was something we were keen to address.

“The performances in some of the games haven’t been reflected by what was on the scoreboard.

“We’ve been sat in the top four on minus points difference which we wanted to put right.

“It was pleasing to see we put into practice against Rochdale what we’d been doing all week.”

A side Cooke will be keen for the Dons to put to the sword are Sunday’s hosts Swinton Lions who sit second bottom after just two wins this term.

But the head coach is again warning of a tough ride from the strugglers this weekend.

Cooke said: “What you have with the bottom five clubs is desperation. They’re fighting for their lives to stay in this division.

“We saw it against Barrow and away at Whitehaven.

“When sides are in a precarious position they are dangerous and more dangerous at home.

“When we went to Whitehaven we started poorly and all of a sudden we were 24-0 down against a team people would say we should be beating.

“Desperate teams come up with desperate efforts and we were probably lucky to get a bonus point.

“Without the same mentality we showed when we went to Leigh, we can easily end up in trouble.

“Swinton have good players and we’re going to have to be on our game.”

Cooke has no new injury worries ahead of this weekend as plenty of players make their return to fitness.

And he is delighted to no longer have his squad selection dictated by injuries.

He said: “We can now pick a team based on who we’re playing and looking ahead to future weeks.

“That’s not been the case in the last month to six weeks.

“Players can’t rest on their laurels and think if they’ve perfomed poorly that they’ll be back in any way because we’ve got no one else.”