Preview: Dewsbury Rams v Doncaster RLFC

Dons' Liam Cunningham in action against Dewsbury. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dons' Liam Cunningham in action against Dewsbury. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster will be looking to lay their bogey in Sunday’s testing Championship clash against Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium.

The Rams completed a league double over the Dons last season, in addition to ending their hopes in the Championship play-offs at the Keepmoat.

They are the only team to have lowered their colours this season at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“They do seem to have had edge over us in recent games, though it is not the first time I’ve come across it in my career,” said player-coach Paul Cooke.

“I’ve certainly come across other teams who seemed to cause problems for the club I was playing for at the time but not everyone else.

“Dewsbury for their part can’t seem to get one over Sheffield and they were beaten by them at home on Sunday.

“We’ve spoken about our recent record against Dewsbury, but I don’t think they’ll have any psychological advantage over us on Sunday because of it.

“We know we need to go there and get a result, not just because we haven’t beaten them for a while, but it is vitally important to keep our momentum going as we start to get closer to the business end of the season.

“We know it is going to be a very difficult game, not least because it is a tight pitch.

“They play on it every other week and also play on similar sized pitches at places such as Sheffield and Workington, whereas we play on them probably just four or five games a season.

“It is certainly easier for Dewsbury to adapt to our pitch than it is for us to adapt to their pitch.”

Whereas Dewsbury will go into the game having suffered back-to-back league defeats, the Dons are unbeaten in four and were unlucky not to beat Featherstone on Sunday.

“We might not be as good man for man as some of the other teams but we play some good rugby and challenge teams in certain areas.

“We did that on Sunday and we looked really threatening with the ball in hand,” said Cooke.

“Second spot is currently up for grabs but the immediate target is still to secure a top eight and when we do that then we’ll be able to start planning for next season.

Liam Cunningham could be fit again after a long injury lay-off, and Shaun Leaf is expected to be vying for the centre spot alongside Liam Welham who featured in the Featherstone draw.