Doncaster RLFC: Unbeaten Leigh will bring our best back insists Paul Cooke

Mark Castle could be back for the Dons to face Leigh
Mark Castle could be back for the Dons to face Leigh

Paul Cooke believes the challenge of facing unbeaten Championship leaders Leigh will get his side back on track.

The Dons head coach has been disappointed with his side’s performances in recent weeks, culiminating in Sunday’s defeat at Whitehaven.

But he is confident the Dons will raise their game when they visit a Leigh side who have won ten out of ten so far this season.

“The positive I can take is that I know we won’t be as poor when we go to Leigh,” Cooke said. “It’s a massive game, a massive test for us and I’m sure the lads will respond.

“They will know full well that if they are not on their game they’re going to get blitzed by a quality side.

“But there’s also that carrot of being the first team to beat Leigh this season.

“The more they win, the closer they come to losing.

“We’re not expected to get anything from there but we’ll be going there for the three points.”

Cooke says going to the Leigh Sports Village to defend would only end is disaster for his side.

He said: “We’re going to have to fight fire with fire because trying to defend against Leigh would be fruitless.

“They’re going to score, it’s inevitable.

“So we’ll be going there to attack and go at them.”

Cooke is promising to shake up his side with players returning from injury.

He said: “We’ve been below par for the last month or so but we’ve been hampered by injuries.

“Now we’re starting to have the luxury of players coming back and there’ll be changes.

“We’ve started the last two games really poorly and it’s not good enough.

“We’re getting lads back fit and they’re putting pressure on those who’ve been playing.

“Some have had their chance and not produced.”

Mark Castle and Mike Kelly are two players who could return to the side this weekend.

Cooke says he is not surprised by Leigh’s electric start to the season and has tipped them to lead the way for promotion to Super League when the door opens next season.

He said: “Leigh are a fantastic side and the one in this division I love to watch the most.

“I’m not surprised by how they’ve done because they’re a top team with a top coach.

“Any side who can afford to play Liam Kay on the wing because the quality of the other full backs isn’t bad off.

“They’re laying down a marker this season and I think they’ll be at the front of the queue for promotion to Super League in 2015.”