South Wales Ironmen 12 Doncaster RLFC 70: Rampant Dons run in 13 tries to maintain top four challenge

Louis Sheriff was one of four Dons men to score a brace of tries. Picture: Andrew Roe
Louis Sheriff was one of four Dons men to score a brace of tries. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Doncaster RLFC posted their biggest League One win this season, routing lowly South Wales Ironmen in their penultimate game of the regular season.

The Dons ran in 13 tries as they maintained their top-four challenge with a 70-12 win at Merthyr RFC but remain in sixth spot on points difference.

Just as they did in their midweek win over Oxford at Featherstone, the Dons were quick out of the blocks and scored more than a point a minute as they raced into a 16-0 lead midway through the first period.

Head coach Richard Horne had been looking for a similar start to the game at Post Office Road and his players obliged.

Prop Russ Spiers, who has enjoyed a good season on his return to the club after spending the 2016 campaign at York, ran strongly on the last tackle to open the scoring after just two minutes.

He also helped set a touchdown for leading try-scorer Jason Tali three minutes later.

The home side went close before loose-forward Jamie Thackray wrong-footed a defender on 11 minutes. Scrum-half Jack Miller added a third successful conversion to make it 18-0.

The Welsh side hit back when scrum-half Morgan Punchard, who also added the extras, put prop Nelmes over on 14 minutes.

Dons showed no reaction to playing their third game in eight days and quickly regained the initiative with Spiers, who proved a real handful for the home side, grabbing a second try after handing off several defenders en-route to the line.

Miller again tagged on the conversion as he did when full-back Reece Dean joined the attack to send powerhouse prop Feka Paleaaesina over.

Miller again added the extras after sending Dean over just after the half-hour mark to make it 36-6.

Winger Sam Doherty, the hat-trick hero of the win over Oxford, grabbed the Dons seventh try on the stroke of half-time.

It took them longer to get into their stride at the start of the second half than it had at the start of the first and they didn’t register their first points until dual-registered Hull FC second-rower Jack Downs touched down for a converted try following good work by hooker Ryan Wright.

The Dons were in again a couple of minutes later with winger Louis Sheriff bringing up the half-century with a try out wide after Dean had made the running.

Dean blotted his copybook in the build-up to Ironmen’s second converted try with Downs taking advantage of some sloppy defending at the other end minutes later to claim his second try.

Doherty bagged his second five minutes later from a kick to the corner to make it 60-12.

Sheriff became the fourth Doncaster player to claim a brace following more good work in attack by the impressive Dean.

Miller took advantage of a tired defence to score a try he also converted.

*Dons: Dean, Doherty, Welham, Tali, Sherrif, Hedges, Miller; Spiers, Cross, Braham, Martin, Downs, Thackray. Subs: Castle, England, Paleaaesina, Wright.