Dons ready to tackle town’s top amateurs

Dons' Kyle Kesik gets thwarted in an attack against Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dons' Kyle Kesik gets thwarted in an attack against Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe

HEAD coach Tony Miller has warned his side not to expect an easy ride when they meet a Doncaster Select squad in their final pre-season friendly.

The Dons head to Wheatley Hills rugby club on Sunday to take on a squad featuring players from Bentley Good Companions, Moorends Thorne Marauders and Doncaster Toll Bar.

And Miller is demanding a professional approach against the amateurs.

He said: “We’ve got to make sure we earn the right to play football and we just don’t think we can do what we want.

“We know we’re set for a repeat of the game last year and they’ll be at us for the first 20 or 30 minutes.

“It’s about doing things the right way and not taking anything for granted.

“We’ve got to be professional about this.”

The Dons’ ranks were depleted for the friendly clash with Sheffield Eagles on Sunday and Miller was forced to work with just 15 players for the majority.

Grant Edwards suffered a muscle strain in the warm-up while Andy Townend broke his hand just 15 minutes in.

The two sides were level at 22-22 with 15 minutes to go after tries for the Dons from Mike Emmett, Stewart Sanderson, Lee Waterman and Nathan Powley but the Eagles surged on to win 40-22.

Miller said: “We played with 15 men for the majority of the game and I thought at the end that took its toll on us.

“They came with a 22 man squad and we had 17 men at first because we’ve got six out injured so it makes a difference.

“I can’t fault the effort the players put in and I thought the final score was not a reflection on the game.

“We did a lot of good stuff but a bit of dumb stuff as well.

“There’s a lot more pleasing aspects than disappointments.”

Miller confirmed that big name signing Paul Cooke is still working on his fitness.

He said: “I think in two or three weeks Paul won’t be far off.

“I doubt he’ll play any part this weekend but then we’ve got a week off so he might be ready for the Gateshead game.”

Doncaster Select: Chris Hemmings, Paul Purnell, Lyndon Stayley, Nick Tesh, Dougy Reed (all Bentley); Tom Holt, Tom Brandham, Gaz Carey (all Toll Bar); Dean Armstrong, Danny Hornsby, Shaun Roberts, Mark Roach, Shaun Carver, Wayne Green, Alex Palmer, Steve Allen, Ian Evans, Kev Lake (all Moorends).