AUDIO: Dons chief Cooke aims to get one over on ‘Gaffer’ Griffiths

If the mood needs lightening at Castle Park this week, you can bet the verbal jousting between Paul Cooke and Clive Griffiths will deliver the goods.

The pair are conspiring to get the town’s leading rugby union outfit over the promotion finishing line, starting with Saturday’s vital trip to Coventry.

But they are also looking for the edge over each other in the league code as Griffiths brings his North Wales Crusaders to the Keepmoat to face Cooke’s Dons on Sunday.

And Cooke is leaving nothing to chance in preparing to meet the man he calls Gaffer.

“I’ve put a new password on my laptop this week,” Cooke said. “I’ve managed to get hold of a couple of games they’ve played this season that he doesn’t know about. We’re looking forward to it.

“On a serious note it’s an opportunity for us at home against a team that are around us in the table.

“It’ll be one we’re looking to win for certain and I know the Gaffer is the same.”

The Crusaders head to Doncaster smarting from a 66-0 Challenge Cup mauling by Featherstone.

But Griffiths’ side could arrive in the better condition with Cooke facing a patch-up job after losing more players to injury in the comfortable triumph over Hemel Stags.

Scott Spaven and Matt Carbutt both suffered apparent serious injuries in the 68-18 triumph.

Cooke said: “They’ve gone to Featherstone with a weakened team.

“They’re the same as us – they’d sooner be out of the cup and concentrating on the top eight.

“It’s a massive game for us this weekend and a massive week of training.

“We’ve got some areas to fix up that we’ll look at as a staff and we need to fix them up quickly.

“We had six on the bed before another three joined them after the Hemel game.

“The doctor is a busy man trying to arrange scans and getting everyone looked at as soon as possible.

“We’ll get a bit of help from Hull next week with regards to personnel.

“We’ll get some reinforcements in areas where we need and we’ll look at the best way forward to face the Crusaders.”

On loan Matty Wildie is back in contention for the Dons after being ineligible for the Challenge Cup.

Though likely to be ruled out through injury, Carbutt was set to miss the Crusaders clash any way due to his wedding.