Doncaster RLFC could find themselves out of a League One Super 8s play-off spot for the first time if results go against them this weekend.
Defeat for the fifth-placed Dons against fourth-placed York City Knights at Bootham Crescent tomorrow (3pm), and victory for sixth-placed Keighley at Newcastle, would see the West Yorkshire side go above them on points difference with just two games remaining.
“It’s a big game for us – a bit of a local derby - and all the players know that and we’ll be ready to go,” said head coach Richard Horne.
“I know quite a few of the York players and they are a dangerous team - (coach) James Ford has done a really good job with them.
“They’ve got plenty of shape and plenty of structure and they’ve got players who can find a pass and execute.
“We’re certainly aware of the threat they pose and hopefully we can do a job on them defensively.
“We weren’t quite on our game defensively in the defeat at Workington (last time out) which hadn’t been an issue the previous two games.
“They’ll also be aware of what we can do with the ball.”
Despite the importance of the game Horne expects it to be an entertaining encounter.
“Both sides like to throw the ball about,” he said.
The Dons welcome back attack-minded French full-back Hakim Miloudi.
“It’s good to have him back in the squad and hopefully he’ll add to the team again as he did against Whitehaven,” said Horne.
“I thought he was really positive in that game and he’ll only get better.
“York won’t have seen much footage of him in action so hopefully he’ll be a bit of an unknown quantity as far as they are concerned.”