Leeds Rhinos v Doncaster RLFC: There’s no pressure on us - Thornton

Dons head coach Gary Thornton

Dons head coach Gary Thornton

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Dons boss Gary Thornton knows it would take one of the biggest Ladbrokes Challenge Cup upsets in recent years to stop Leeds Rhinos charging into the sixth round at Headingley tonight (8pm).

Thornton watched the Rhinos record their second win of the Bank Holiday weekend when beating bottom club Widnes in front of a 15,000 crowd on Easter Monday.

Doncaster go into this evening’s game on the back of a crushing defeat to Toronto Wolfpack and disappointing reverse to York City Knights.

“Leeds are running hot again after a disappointing season last year and are joint leaders and have been scoring 40 and 50 points against some Super League teams so we know the size of the task facing us,” said Thornton. “The minimum we’ve got to do is to play for the full 80 minutes.

“We’ve made no secret of the fact that promotion is our number one priority this season but obviously we were delighted to draw Leeds and hopefully there will be a reasonably full house there tonight which will give the club a financial boost.

“We know that we are massive underdogs but there is no pressure on us. I’m hoping we can use that in our favour and just go out and enjoy the occasion and that it will be a great experience for some of our younger players.

“We’re not making any rash predictions about the game. The score is not that important to be honest. It’s more about the performance. I want us to go there and put on a good show and do ourselves and the fans proud because that would give our confidence a boost going forward.”

The Dons welcome back props Mark Castle, Makali Aizue and play-maker Jordan Howden but will lack forwards Russ Spiers, Feka Paleaaesina, Mason Tonks and Jamie Thackray.