Doncaster RLFC: Lessons to be learned from Bradford defeat - Horne

Doncaster RLFC head coach Richard Horne will look to pin-point where things went wrong in Sunday's League One top-of-the-table defeat against Bradford Bulls at tonight's training session.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 7:00 am
Richard Horne

“We’ll have a lot to look at and get right for the away game against London Skolars on Saturday,” said Horne.

Horne felt that his charges failed to live up to their top billing in the 32-6 defeat by second-placed Bulls in front of the biggest league crowd at the Keepmoat Stadium in recent years.

“Bradford are the bookies’ favourites and set the bench mark for the rest of us whether we like it or not,” he said.

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“They are a good side and their budget is probably a lot bigger than ours and you can see that in the quality of some of their players.

“But having said that we’ve got some good players but they didn’t perform to their best on Sunday and that’s the most disappointing thing.

“They had great shape, looked well organised whereas we didn’t for most of the game.

“We were poor at constructing our sets – and that’s something we’ll be talking to the halves about going forward - and we had players doing things they don’t normally do. It was frustrating from our point of view.”

“They set off really well and could, and probably should, have got away from us. We just weren’t at the races.

“I was happy with our try-line defence in the first half but it takes so much energy out of the players when they are having to do so much defending – especially repeat sets as was the case on five or six occasions - and it certainly took its toll in the second half.

“You can’t afford to give away penalties and lose possession because sides as good as Bradford will punish you whereas you can probably get away with it against some of the bottom sides.”

Although the Dons were still in the game at half time any comeback hopes they may have entertained were dashed as Bradford scored three tries without reply in the third quarter.

“We couldn’t get any defensive line speed as a result of fatigue,” said Horne.

He added: “We know now where we need to be at and it gives us something to aim for and we get another shot at them at their place later in the season. We’ll learn from Sunday and move forward.”