Doncaster RLFC: Cooke hopeful on prolonged stay for Crooks

Doncaster RLFC v North Wales Crusaders.  Ben Crooks charges the Crusaders line.   Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Doncaster RLFC v North Wales Crusaders. Ben Crooks charges the Crusaders line. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Paul Cooke hopes he hasn’t seen the last of Ben Crooks - and has vowed to get the best out of him.

The 20-year-old centre - voted 2013 Super League Young Player of the Year - has dropped down the pecking order at Hull FC after an indifferent start to the season.

Crooks made an immediate impact on his Doncaster debut, scoring two tries and setting up another in Sunday’s hard earned win over North Wales Crusaders.

And Cooke is hopeful he will be able to call upon last year’s Dream Team member again for this weekend’s trip to Sheffield Eagles.

“It’s a possibility,” said Cooke.

“Ben is suffering a little bit defensively and it’s no secret he’s working very hard on that aspect of his game.

“I sat down with him on Saturday and we spoke about that. We need to get him to a level where he’s enjoying his rugby and he’s confident going on the field and making good decisions.

“If [Hull FC coach] Lee Radford chooses to go down the Richard Whiting and Kirk Yeaman route again then Ben will need game time and we can offer him that.

“We can also offer him quality ball and somewhere he can work on the aspects of his game that he needs to.

“If he’s available, and working with us as well as Hull, I’ll certainly get the best out of him.”

Radford hinted last week that Crooks, as well as Hull teammate Joe Arundel, will get an extended run at Doncaster.

“We are hoping a couple of games at Doncaster will benefit them,” he said.