Doncaster RLFC 0 Leeds Rhinos 60: Dons well beaten by Super League giants in second pre-season game

Leeds' Josh Walters looks to break through
Leeds' Josh Walters looks to break through
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Doncaster RLFC were keen to put on a better show in their second pre-season friendly at the Keepmoat Stadium after being well beaten by Hull FC a week earlier.

Not least because the game against Super League giants Leeds Rhinos also doubled as hooker Kyle Kesik’s testimonial – a reward for ten years’ loyal service.

At times they did despite giving run-outs to half-a-dozen former teammates of Kesik no longer playing at a professional level. But in the final analysis they were no match for a dominant Leeds side who ran in 11 tries without reply in a mainly one-sided encounter.

Such games are a rarity these days and Leeds played their part in honouring Kesik – a long-time Rhinos fan – by sending a strong side boasting a number of first-teamers regulars along with some promising youngsters several of whom could be pushing for a first-team place during the coming season.

The Dons again fielded several trialists with Hull-based full-back Nathan Slater catching the eye early on.

Rhinos dominated early possession but apart from when young centre Harry Newman went close down the left they made little impression on a Doncaster side which defended far better than against Hull FC the previous week in the first quarter.

The Dons had a chance to open the scoring when centre Kieran Buchannan, who had played against them last week, broke strongly down the left only for the move to fizzle out on the Leeds 20.

Leeds finally turned pressure into points in the 13th minute when Mikolaj Oldezki crossed from close range.

The Dons hit back strongly and stand-off Jordan Howden looked to have scored on 18 minutes but the referee had spotted an obstruction in the build-up.

The home side continued to play with much more fluency and organisation than against Hull, where they were badly affected by injuries, but they fell further behind on 25 minutes when Owen Trout crossed.

Leeds continued to dominate territory and possession and opened up a 24-0 lead after 34 minutes with two quickly-taken close-range tries.

Former Dons player-coach Paul Cooke joined in the action on 35 minutes but it continued to be one-way traffic and Newman crossed out wide on 39 minutes.

The Dons, with Cooke off and Dean Colton on, fell further behind on 45 minutes as hooker Brad Dwyer shot over.

The League One side briefly came into the game, testing Leeds on their right flank, prior to close-season signing James Donaldson going over for another converted try on 58 minutes to make it 40-0.

Trout, Jack Broadbent, Newman, Smith all added further tries as Leeds took advantage of their extra pace and power against a tiring Doncaster side.

Dons: Slater, Doherty, Bower, Buchanan, Owen, Howden, Beharrell, Boyle, Kesik, Scott, Foster, Dixon, Hedges. Subs: Welham, Cross, Chrimes, Graham, Waterman, Cooke, Colton, Castle, Carbutt.

Leeds: Golding, Whitton, Sutcliffe, Newman, Birscoe, Smith, Spence, Oledzki, Dwyer, Singleton, Trout, Walters, Donaldson. Subs: Johnson, McConnell, Mullally, Mustapha, Ormanroyd, Broadbent.