Doncaster RLFC: Corporal Cooke ready for war with British Army

Mark Castle is set to miss out for the Dons with a shoulder injury
Mark Castle is set to miss out for the Dons with a shoulder injury

Paul Cooke is setting out on a late reconnaissance mission on the British Army.

The Dons may be overwhelming favourites for Sunday’s Challenge Cup clash with the Army representative side but head coach Cooke is taking no chances when it comes to the opposition.

“I really don’t want to go into this game blind,” Cooke told the Free Press. “I’ve been trying to get videos of them, at least one from their win over GB Police in the last round.

“It’s difficult with them being an amateur side but I don’t want to go in naked, without anything to work with.

“I like to know what we’re going to be up against.

“We know for a fact they’re going to be fit and they’re also going to be very determined to cause an upset.

“I know a couple of lads who play for them like Dominic Maloney who has plenty of experience in the Championship so they’re no mugs.

“We might be the big favourites but we have a duty to be thoroughly professional on Sunday.”

The Dons travel to the Army’s Aldershot base for Sunday’s third round clash buoyed by a come-from-behind victory at perennial Championship big-hitters Batley last weekend.

Two more clashes with traditional powers in the division await before the end of the month and Cooke is determined to use this weekend as a springboard into those games.

He said: “We have made a decent start and we need to keep the momentum going.

“We’re striving for better in each game. It was a good result against Barrow but there were plenty of things we can improve on.

“We’ve got two big, tough games coming up before the end of the month against Featherstone and Halifax and we know we’re going to have to be at our very best for those.

“This weekend will give me a chance to rest a few and give some game time to those who haven’t really had it.

“But anyone who plays this weekend is obligated by me to perform at their absolute best and put themselves in consideration for the Featherstone game.

“They’ve got to show they want to play and that they deserve their place.”

Mark Castle injured his shoulder during the win at Batley while Shaun Leaf suffered a neck problem which restricted movement in his arms.

Grant Edwards has returned to fitness.