DONS VIDEO: Doncaster dejection shows we’ve set bar higher - Cooke

The disappointment players have shown following defeat to Dewsbury has pleased player coach Paul Cooke.

Doncaster relinquished a 10-4 lead to lose 20-12 - marking their fourth successive defeat against the Rams.

Doncaster RLFC are sweating on the injury fitness of Dean Hadley, centre, who had to come off against Dewsbury Rams. Photo: Steve Taylor

Doncaster RLFC are sweating on the injury fitness of Dean Hadley, centre, who had to come off against Dewsbury Rams. Photo: Steve Taylor

Stand-off Cooke, who scored Doncaster’s second try after combining brilliantly with Mike Kelly, was disappointed with the loss but heartened by his side’s response.

“I think we can be proud of our efforts and proud of the way we stuck in there through tough times,” he said.

“After a loss like that, the heartening thing from my point of view was that everyone was disappointed.

“I think we have set the bar a little bit higher and we expect more from ourselves.”

He went on: “The bonus point doesn’t matter to us, it is a loss on our record.

“It was a tough old game and we will dust ourselves down and move on.”

The physical battle saw neither side slip defensively and a 0-0 scoreline ensue at the break - only Cooke’s second ever goalless scoreline at half time in his whole playing career.

Scott Spaven crashed over for Doncaster moments after the restart with Stewart Sanderson kicking the extras.

Dewsbury hit back through Scott Hale before Cooke touched down.

However, a relenting Rams outfit saw Anthony Thackeray power over with Tom Hemingway converting for 10-10.

Kieran Hyde’s penalty was later cancelled out by Sanderson but Greg Scott’s try proved too much for the Dons. Hyde converted and scored a penalty to clinch a fine win for Dewsbury.

Despite being happy with his side’s effort, Cooke insists they will have to be ‘smarter’ for the Batley trip on Sunday.

“We will get to view them this week and look at what we can do and where we can get to and look at what we need as a squad to beat them,” he said.

“They are well coached in John Kear, I know him very well, and they have got some great players. They will certainly be tough to beat.

“We need to smarten up for this Sunday.”

Cooke will wait to see if Dean Hadley will be available after the second rower suffered an injury on Sunday.