Twenty-four hours after seeing Hull FC, where he works as assistant coach, book their place in the Challenge Cup final, Richard Horne saw his Doncaster charges crash to defeat at the same ground.
The club’s hopes of mounting a serious challenge for third spot in the League One Super 8s look to be all but over following their 32-24 home defeat by Keighley and Barrow’s win over Whitehaven.
A top-five finish, which would secure them a place in the play-offs, is also not guaranteed unless they play much better in their remaining six games.
“They played a high percentage (when they had the ball) and we made far too many errors and weren’t able to build any momentum or put them under pressure,” said a clearly disappointed Horne after his first game in charge at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“Despite conceding four first half tries I thought we defended our line really well.
“We had to because they camped in our half for most of the 40 minutes and they had some smart halves who moved the ball around and their forwards got on top.
“But that took its toll on our attack in the second and though we played a bit better when we needed to shape up we were down on the gas.
“Despite turning around 24-10 down I thought that if we could score early (in the second half) we could get back into the game and we did have a spell of possession in their 20 but again we came up with too many errors and they scored first.”
Horne revealed that he had to make two changes to the side he intended to play due to leading try-scorer Jason Tali and new loan signing from Hull FC, Brandon Westerman, having to pull out.