Doncaster RLFC 54 South Wales 4: Nine-try Dons keep alive hopes of top-four finish

Doncaster Dons' Jordie Hedges scores a try against South Wales Scorpions. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster Dons' Jordie Hedges scores a try against South Wales Scorpions. Picture: Andrew Roe

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Doncaster RLFC raced to a 54-4 win in the first of two League One games to be played at the town’s athletics complex while the Keepmoat Stadium is unavailable.

Their nine -try victory over lowly South Wales Scorpions kept alive their hopes of finishing in the top four after the regular season – thereby earning themselves an extra home game in the play-offs.

But it is looking increasingly likely that they’ll have to win all three remaining games, in addition for other results going their way, and at least two of them will provide tougher opposition than they faced against the Scorpions.

The Welsh side lacked nothing in terms of spirit and enthusiasm but failed to match the structure and flair of the home side even though they didn’t always fire on all cylinders.

The fifth-placed Dons, who finished on the losing side in their only previous game at the stadium several years ago, had hoped to be quickly out of their blocks in a game they were not only looking to win but boost their points difference in the process.

But it was Scorpions who enjoyed the better of the first ten minutes and had they shown more variety in attack near the line could have had something to show for their efforts. It was against the run of play when prop Matt Nicholson broke the deadlock following good work by skipper Kyle Kesik – who also led from the front defensively in the opening quarter.

The Dons doubled their lead when Australian scrum-half Geordie Hedges raced in from 30 metres after supporting a break down the left by centre Jason Tali.

A good run from acting half-back by hooker Ryan Wright set up the position from which strong-running prop Mark Castle crashed over for a third converted try.

Full-back Tom Carr, who converted all nine tries, then joined the attack to create the extra man in the build-up to Tali’s close-range try.

The Dons got into their stride much quicker at the start of the second half than they had in the first, with stand-off Jordan Howden touching down from close range for a fifth converted try within 90 seconds of the restart.

Brad Nicholson rewarded further pressure with a close-range converted try on 47 minutes to make it 36-0.

Scorpions’ efforts were finally rewarded with an unconverted try by stand-off Jamie Murphy, who had gone close from a kick in the first half, on 52 minutes.

The Dons regained the initiative with winger Louis Sheriff touching down in the corner from Howden’s kick. Carr’s touchline conversion made it 42-4 with 20 minutes to play.

They will have hoped to have added more than late converted close-range tries by second-rower Brad Foster and loose-forward George Milton but still posted their biggest league win of the season.

Dons: Carr; Sheriff, L Welham, Tali, Foggin-Johnson; Howden, Hedges; Aizue, Kesik, M Nicholson, Foster, Walton, Milton. Subs: Castle, Wright, B Nicholson, Braham.

South Wales Scorpions: B Jones; Evans, Scrivens, Gregory, Parker; Murphy, Baller, Reilly, Farrer, Nelmes, R Jones, Roets, Duffy. Subs: Phillips, Hellard,Williams, Syme.

Referee: L Moore.

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