DONS: O’Loughlin’s ban hits Dons

May start: Richard Spiers
May start: Richard Spiers

BIG second row forward Dean O’Loughlin has received a two match ban after being sent off in the cup clash against Sharlston and will miss the Dons home league game against London Skolars tomorrow (3pm).

O’Loughlin was red-carded following a brawl involving several players from both sides at the end of the match and will also miss the fourth round Challenge Cup clash at Bradford Bulls on April 15.

Young forward Nathan Powley, who was placed on report by the referee following the incident, has also been suspended for two games and fined £50.

Coach Tony Miller said: “It’s a blow losing them and they have lessons to learn after what happened.

“But it opens the door for others and we have to focus on Friday’s game now because we can’t afford to slip up against Skolars, who are a much improved team.”

The Londoners were only narrowly beaten by third placed Workington last Sunday and chalked up a 66-16 victory over Crusaders earlier in the campaign.

Miller said: “They could spring a few surprises this season and we’ve got to make sure we’re not one of them.

“They have strengthened their squad considerably and have a really big pack and a couple of powerful wingers.

“But we are going into the game with a lot of confidence.”

Recent signing Russ Spiers could start in O’Loughlin’s absence and Francis Welsh, Craig Fawcett and Dean Colton also join the squad.