Doncaster RLFC 30 North Wales Crusaders 14: Dons bounce back

Doncaster RLFC bounced back from three consecutive defeats as they overcame North Wales Crusaders 30-14 at the Keepmoat.

Sunday, 10th April 2016, 6:22 pm
Two-try Jason Tali is halted by Jack Hansen and Andy Oakden of North Wales Crusaders. Picture Dean Atkins

Two of their three defeats came in cup competitions so the Dons came into the clash well-placed in League One. However, the game began in cagey fashion with both defences on top.

That was until a dropped catch in the 13th minute by Tommy Johnson after Reece Dean had kicked long gave Dons a superb opportunity to finally make some pressure count with a ten metre scrum.

And Mark Castle marked his return from injury with a try, forcing his way over the line. Tom Carr comfortably converted to give the home side a 6-0 lead.

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The home side kicked on from there, and before the 15 minute mark they extended their lead, a well-worked move finding Jason Tali, who slalomed past the North Wales defence to touch down.

Crusaders hit back with a try of their own as Jack Hansen found himself in space, as the visitors cut the deficit.

And the momentum was with North Wales as it took only two minutes for them to cut it further, as Johnson raced past the Dons defence out wide, and journeyed under the posts, which when converted left matters at 12-10, and it was game on with ten minutes of the first period left.

Pressure continued from Wales, however, Reece Dean intercepted a pass near his own try line and raced the length of the field, before being thwarted by a last-ditch challenge five metres short.

But from the following spell of pressure, Tali had his second try as he flew over in the left corner.

The second period started in scrappy fashion, with neither side able to take hold of the game, and both sides knowing the next try would be crucial.

And it was Dons who had it, having waited until the 65th minute, with Mason Tonks able to go over after Carr had slipped a pass his way.

The feeling that a try might open the game up was proven right, as Dons were immediately back at it, with Mike Kelly powering over, putting Dons 26-10 ahead.

Crusaders then forced a try as they applied pressure of their own, with Matt Davies forcing his way over.

Dons put some gloss on the scoreboard with the last move of the game, with man of the match Tonks claiming his second try.

DONS: Carr, Sheriff, Welham, Tali, Doherty, Dean, B Delaney, Scott, Kesik, Castle, Tonks, Kelly, Picketts SUBS: J Delaney, Nicholson, Braham, Aizue.

CRUSADERS: Johnson, Oakden, Hurst, Davies, Massam, Smith, Hansen, Walker, Hudson, Holland, Thompson, Wild, Warburton SUBS: Millington, Baker, Joy, Liku.