Doncaster RLFC: Rochdale game isn’t a given insists Cooke

Dons' player coach Paul Cooke
Dons' player coach Paul Cooke
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Paul Cooke has warned the Dons will get stung if they underestimate tomorrow’s visitors Rochdale Hornets.

Rochdale have managed just four wins so far this season and just one on the road but Cooke says they will present a tough test, as bottom side Barrow did three weeks ago.

“The last home game against Barrow showed how much you’ve got to be on your game in this division,” Cooke said.

“We got away with a win we didn’t deserve by the skin of our teeth then and we’ve got to be on our game or we’ll struggle against Rochdale.

“Rochdale will be a tough test. They ran Halifax really close last weekend and they’ll be up for this one.

Cooke was pleased with the improvement shown by his side in the defeat to table-topping Leigh last weekend.

But he insists the upward turn in form must continue.

He said: “We need to make improvements on our last three games, although last week we did take some strides forward from the previous two.

“We’re not taking this as a given, absolutely not.”

“We’re going into this weekend on the back of back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.

“We need to respond to that.”

Cooke could be without centre Lee Waterman for the rest of the league campaign after he suffered a dislocated shoulder against Leigh.

Waterman is certainly ruled out for the next six weeks but Cooke believes it is likely to be three months before he returns.

He said: “Lee’s absence will give other players the chance to come in, impress and stake their claims for places.”