RUGBY LEAGUE: Dons complete season with 100% home record

Lee Waterman takes on a crowd of defenders on his way to the tryline to score his 32nd try of the season, to equal Luke Gales record from 2008.
Lee Waterman takes on a crowd of defenders on his way to the tryline to score his 32nd try of the season, to equal Luke Gales record from 2008.
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DONCASTER re-wrote the club record books as they went through a season with a 100 per cent home record for the first time in their history after putting visiting North Wales Crusaders to the sword in their penultimate Championship One game of the 2012 campaign.

Despite not being at their best at times, Tony Miller’s men ran in nine tries - two of which were scored by Lee Waterman, who equalled Luke Gale’s club record of 32 set back in 2008 with the second of his second half brace.

The Dons took the lead on five minutes when centre Danny Cowling got on the end of a long pass by stand-off Paul Cooke about 20 metres out and he ran determinedly to score in the corner, too far out for Cooke to convert.

It was all Doncaster for the next ten minutes, with half-backs Cooke and Craig Fawcett calling the shots, and it was the latter who sent centre Chris Spurr in from close range on 15 minutes.

Cooke added the extras to make it 10-0.

Crusaders’ stand-off Jamie Durbin pulled off a try-scoring interception a couple of metres from his own line to turn defence into attack in a 70 metre move which created the position from which ultimately centre Leon Brennan went over for a 22nd minute try, converted by full-back Tommy Johnson.

The Dons quickly regained the initiative with Cooke putting loose-forward Carl Hughes over from close range with a cleverly delayed pass. The half-back again added the extras to make it 16-6.

Dual-registered second-rower Lucas Walshaw, who was making his home debut for the Dons, was put on report following a high tackle on the half-hour.

Crusaders continued to play with a lot of enthusiasm and put the Doncaster defence under pressure without being able to gain any reward.

They fell further behind on 37 minutes as Cowling powered his way over from 20 metres out for a second converted try.

A tremendous midfield break by Crusaders’ scrum-half Billy Sheen from deep inside his own half could have posed problems for the Dons had he not lacked support prior to being nailed by the cover on the halfway line.

The Dons extended their lead to 28-6 nine minutes after the restart, centre Liam Cunningham doing well to slip the ball out of the tackle to send leading scorer Waterman for a converted try.

Waterman, who used his strength to fend off several would-be tacklers, was in again on 53 minutes.

The floodgates looked to be well and truly open and Fawcett capped an impressive display with another converted try three minutes later to make it 38-6.

The Welsh side doubled their tally with a converted try by Anthony Morrison on 70 minutes.

Grant Edwards capped his first start since early May with a 75th minute unconverted try.

Nathan Powley crossed for Doncaster’s last try, converted by Waterman,

Dons: Waterman, Colton, Spurr, Cowling, Sanderson, Cooke, Fawcett, Castle, Emmett, Spiers, Walshaw, Edwards, Hughes. Subs: Lawton, Cunningham, Powley, Robinson.

Referee: D Merrick