DEFEAT is not an option for the Dons in tonight’s crucial Championship One title clash against second-placed Workington Town at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Victory by more than 12 points would see the Dons climb above the Cumbrians and close to within two points of Barrow, who have to play Town in the run-in.
Victory would also ensure that the Dons, who are again offering Doncaster Rovers’ season ticket holders and Alliance members half-price admission, will be playing second tier rugby next season.
“If someone had said to me at the start of the season that we’d be in this position at this late stage of the campaign I would have snapped their hand off,” said Dons’ boss Tony Miller.
“Our aim was to win promotion and that looks like it is going to happen, irrespective of tonight’s result, but we’ve also got ourselves in a position to give ourselves a shot at the title.
“But I’ve tried to not put too much pressure on the players because I don’t want them to suddenly start getting tight and anxious and it affect their game.”
Miller is forced to make changes to his backline after star full-back Mick Butterfield broke his hand in the club’s last game 10 days ago.
He looks set to move leading try-scorer Lee Waterman from centre and bring in either Danny Cowling or Liam Cunningham, both fit again after long injury lay-offs, at centre
“Lee has played there before and he can break the line and pop up on the fringes,” said Miller.
Both Waterman and Paul Cooke deputised for injured goal-kicker Tom Hodson in the last match with mixed results but Miller is backing Cooke to deliver the goods.
The Cumbrians are looking to become the first side to complete the double over Miller’s men.