West Wales Raiders 0 Doncaster RLFC 72: Dons dominate in principality
Results have shown that no side can take anyone for granted in this season’s Betfred League One campaign with one notable exception.
Despite having improved upon a debut season when several opponents - including the Dons - scored over 100 points against them, West Wales Raiders are still looking for their first win following Saturday’s 72-0 defeat.
Any hopes that they might have entertained of breaking their duck against a Doncaster side which had already beaten them twice at the Keepmoat Stadium, were sunk without trace in the opening quarter of the game at the Stebonheath Park Stadium.
Showing no adverse effect from the long journey down to Llanelli, the promotion-chasing Dons led 18-0 after just 15 minutes after which time it became another damage-limitation exercise for the willing, but outclassed, Raiders
The Dons had hardly broken sweat when full-back Richard Owen celebrated his first start since being carried off with an ankle injury earlier in the season when setting up the chance for in-form winger Sam Doherty to score the first of his four tries after just two minutes.
Australian utility man Jordie Hedges took over the kicking duties from the rested Matty Beharrell and converted all six first half tries to help give his side a 36-0 interval lead.
Hooker Kyle Kesik scored a typical close-range try as the Dons continued their bright start. Second-rower Brad Foster kept the scoreboard ticking over after getting clear.
Prop Russ Spiers, who will miss the next two games as a result of his red card in the win at Coventry last time out, broke the line before finding Kesik up in support and the hooker in turn sent on-loan half-back Watson Boas over at the start of the second quarter.
Boas would have had at least another try but for pulling up with a hamstring injury on his way to the line in the second half.
Raiders failed to capitalise on their only period of pressure of the game prior to Doncaster props Connor Scott and Stefanos Bastas, the latter from a Kesik grubber-kick, adding further converted tries before the break.
The early stages of the second half were virtually a repeat of the first with the Dons posting three tries, only the first being converted, to open up a 50-0 lead.
Centre Connor Bower bagged the first two – the first following good work by Doherty – with Owen getting on the end of some snappy handling to score in the corner.
Raiders managed to stem the flow until the end of the third quarter when Bower finished well to complete a second-half hat-trick too far out for Hedges to convert.
Doherty scored twice inside five minutes to become the second player to claim a hat-trick.
He struck again just before the final whistle – after Menzie Yere had put fellow PNG star Jason Tali over – following a superb offload by Bower.
Dons: Owen, Doherty, Bower, Tali, Chrimes, Hedges, Boas; Spiers, Kesik, Scott, Hodgson, Foster, Nzoungou, Subs: Yere, Bastas, Boyle, Wynne.