Doncaster RLFC’s players will be drinking in the Last Chance Saloon tomorrow when entertaining Featherstone Rovers (2pm) at the Keepmoat Stadium in the second of seven Championship Shield fixtures.
Come 5pm the players and fans will either be toasting hanging on to their Championship status for another week or drowning their sorrows after relegation to League One is confirmed.
Such is the club’s dire situation that not even victory over the once-mighty Rovers would save them were Batley and Whitehaven to both to win their home games this weekend.
Defeat against Rovers, who just missed out on the Middle 8s, would see the Dons relegated whatever the other results.
“We’ll be looking to go out there and pick up a win just as we’ve done in every game since I’ve been here,” said head coach Gary Thornton.
“But we know it’s going to be a big ask to beat Rovers given the quality of their squad. But they’ve been very inconsistent this season, especially at home, and I think they’ve massively under-achieved this season.
“Having missed out on the chance to challenge for a place in Super League I would imagine that they’ll be concentrating all their efforts on trying to win the Championship Shield.”
The game is likely to see a return to the Keepmoat Stadium of both Paul Cooke and Steve Snitch, who both started the 2015 campaign at the club.
Thornton, who expects both men to receive a warm reception from Doncaster fans, will give late fitness tests to several players.
Rovers have had a change of coach since they put 50 past the Dons at Post Office Road in June with Jon Sharp, who Thornton knows well, taking over late last month.