DONCASTER will be out to avoid the embarrassment of falling victim to an amateur club in the third round of the Rugby League Challenge Cup for the second successive season in today’s tie against Thatto Heath at the Keepmoat Stadium (3pm).
The Dons lost by a competition record 24-0 margin in games between professional and amateur opposition at home to National Conference Premier Division outfit Siddal 12 months ago.
Today’s visitors currently top the table but Dons boss Tony Miller, whilst not under-estimating the Lancashire side, doesn’t expect a repeat performance.
“There is no doubting that Siddal were the better side and thoroughly deserved their win,” he said. “But there were extenuating circumstances.
“We will be much better prepared for today’s game. We’ve got a stronger squad and we’ve done a full pre-season programme, have less injuries and I expect us to be one of the fittest sides in Championship One.
“I certainly expect our fitness to be a factor in the last 20 minutes, but we’ve got to make sure that we are still in the game at that stage.
“Playing here will give them a lift and I expect them to play with a lot of enthusiasm and energy in the the first 25 minutes or so. What we haven’t got to do is to allow them build up any momentum.”
Miller had hoped to take in Thatto Heath’s league game at Siddal last weekend, but when he arrived at the ground he learnt it had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. But he has managed to glean some information on them.
“They like to attack down their right-hand side. Their right centre and their full-back like to run down the channels,” he said.
“They are a well-established amateur side and, as I say, we certainly won’t be under-estimating them. Not that we did Siddal.”