Doncaster RLFC 18 Hull FC 38: Dons give cup holders great game but Hull pace tells in the end

Kyle Kesik set up a try for Charlie Martin. 

Picture:  Dean Atkins

Kyle Kesik set up a try for Charlie Martin. Picture: Dean Atkins

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The Dons suffered their first defeat of pre-season as Challenge Cup holders Hull FC powered clear in the second half for a 38-18 win.

Gary Thornton’s side were always in the game in the first half but struggling to match the scoring pace set by Hull after the break.

They did however battle hard to get back into the contest and will take plenty from their final pre-season outing.

The Dons opened the scoring when Jordie Hedges found the try area with a kick and Sam Doherty touched down, though the conversion hit the post.

The hosts had the momentum and increased their advantage when Hull’s Jack Sanderson failed to gather a chip kick and Doherty pounced for his second try of the game.

But with 15 minutes on the clock, Hull hit back after a series of looping passes fed Callum Lancaster to score.

FC kept up the attack and levelled within five minutes when Jordan Thompson squeezed through the Doncaster defence.

Enforced errors from the Dons ensured Hull maintained possession and Matt Cook went over for the visitors with the conversion added.

On the half hour mark FC stretched further ahead when Fonua found the line after collecting Connor’s kick.

But the Dons finished the half on the scoring front when Jamie Thackray rolled past the Hull defence to narrow the gap to six at the break.

Hull came out strongly for the second period and Litten went over for a converted effort early in the half.

The Dons stood firm with a strong defence until an incisive pass from Cook found Larroyer to extend Hull’s lead to 18 points.

Both sides enjoyed plenty of scoring opportunities over the next ten minutes but Hull made the breakthrough with a converted try to go 38-14 up.

The Dons refused to roll over and got their reward when a brilliant piece of kicking by Kyle Kesik led to Charlie Martin pouncing on the ball to make it 38-18 heading into the final ten minutes.

The Dons now have a fortnight to prepare for their season opener, the iPro Cup clash at Keighley on February 18.

Dons squad: Sheriff, Doherty, Welham, Tali , Barnett, Hedges, Miller, Braham, Kesik, Castle, Martin, Heil, Thackray. Interchanges: Wright, Scott, Jones-Bishop, Muranka, England, Aizue, Howden.

Hull: Sanderson, Rawsthorne, Fonua, Cook, Lancaster, Connor, Wray, Matongo, Wood, Green, Larroyer, Turgett, Thompson, Interchanges: Litten, Bower, Osbourne, Silk, Gilbey, Lee, Bastiman

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