Hughes sets sights on play-off hat-trick

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DONCASTER forward Carl Hughes knows better than most at the Championship One club what it takes to win promotion via the play-offs.

The 28-year-old has previously helped both Featherstone Rovers and Keighley win Play-Off finals and is hoping to make it a hat-trick with the Dons.

“Hopefully my experience will help the team do well in the play-offs, though there are one or two others who have also played in a final before,” he told The Star.

The Dons, who finished fifth, take on Whitehaven, who finished immediately below them, in the first round of the play-offs at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

“We know it is going to be tough,” said Hughes, whose brother Paul is also a member of Tony Miller’s squad.

“We beat them at home 20-18 in the league last month but it was a close game and could have gone either way.

“They are a big side and they’ve got good players throughout the team and we’ve got to make sure that we complete our sets (of six tackles) and control the ruck area where players like Carl Sice and Darren Holt are dangerous.

“We’ve also got to play for the full 80 minutes. if we play like we did in the first half at Gateshead last weekend, Whitehaven are the sort of side who will capitalise.

“As I say, they are a big side, especially in the forwards, and we know that our try-line defence has to be spot on.

“We also know that we’ve got to keep our composure and not panic if things don’t go our way early on.

“Having played them recently we know what to expect and we’ll have a game plan and if we execute that well then hopefully that will be good enough to see us through on the day.

“The play-offs are like cup football in that you only get one chance and it’s all about what happens on the day.”