Doncaster RLFC v Halifax: Thornton forced into making changes

Paul Mennell

Paul Mennell

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Dons boss Gary Thornton will be forced to break up his new-look half-back partnership in tomorrow's Championship clash against high-flying Halifax at the Keepmoat Stadium (2pm).

Scrum-half Paul Mennell, who played a key role alongside new signing Joe McLocklan in the club's first win of the season against Hunslet last weekend, is ineligible to play against his former club.

“Although it was part of the deal when Halifax agreed to release Paul from his contract, it’s obviously a blow because I thought he and Joe (McLocklan) showed signs of creating a decent partnership,” said Thornton.

With big prop Brett Waller picking up a knee injury last weekend, Matt Carbutt is recalled.

Pleased with how Ben Musolini has settled in, Thornton has brought in another Sheffield Eagles’ second-teamer on loan until the end of the season.

USA international centre/back-rower Loto Tagoloa is expected to be included in the squad to face a Halifax side who need two more points to secure a top-four spot.

“He’s a powerful unit who runs hard and I’m hoping that he’s going to cause some damage,” said Thornton.

Having beaten the Dons 40-6 at The Shay, Halifax will fancy their chances of completing the double and collecting a seventh successive win.

But Thornton warned: “Last week's result has boosted the players' confidence and if Halifax turn up with the wrong attitude then they could get a shock.”

Dons must win five of their last nine games to have any chance of avoiding the drop.