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Paul Cooke 'We can learn from the defeat'

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:17 AM

Doncaster player coach Paul Cooke spoke to the official website after his sides defeat at the Shay Stadium to Halifax.

The team suffered their second loss of the season, going down 48-6, despite taking an early lead in the match.

Cooke was quick to praise the quality of the opposition that his side came up against, he said: “I’m massively disappointed, it’s back down to earth with a bump for us, but I must say I thought Halifax were magnificent.

“Karl Harrison and his players deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they played.

“I thought our players were great with their endeavour, effort and determination, nobody stopped speaking out there, when it got tough we stuck together and we are going to need that as a group.

“We don’t have the biggest squad, we aren’t part of the big top four teams in this league and we found out small reasons why today, but full credit to the opposition, Karl’s men were fantastic.


The Dons boss was added that the number of injury casualties suffered in the first half, made the match an uphill battle.

“We lost too many numbers first half, to hang on in the second half with a lack of energy and the last five weeks caught up with us, with the amount of defence we have done.

“The injuries are starting to take their toll, when you lose your scrum half Danny Nicklas, Mike Kelly the back-row in his first carry and Mark Castle after five minutes, it is always going to be difficult for the remaining 14 players to solider on.

“When they make two and three changes in the front row and we make one, we obviously lose energy.


Cooke admitted that he wants to make his side on par with Halifax and admits he will take advice to get Doncaster to that prestige.

“Its massive for our players that they realise Halifax are a top, top side, at a level we strive to reach.

“We came up short today, but not for the want of effort, it was the lack of numbers and quality of opposition.

“It motivates us to reach that standard and we are under no illusions what it will take.

“I will speak to Karl and Scott Murrell about how they went about their business today and how good they were.

“We can always learn from defeat, although it was a heavy one, with everything that transpired against us, I thought the effort was first class.


At the end of the game, Cooke gathered his men in a huddle on the pitch and the Dons coach explained what was said to them.

“We were speaking about lacking numbers and how good Halifax were, today’s score-line doesn’t reflect the effort we have put in over the previous five matches of this season in the Championship, we are sat where we are for a reason.

“We have to aspire to get to their level as a top four Championship team, Karl and his men were phenomenal, I think most teams would have struggled here today, with everything that went against us.

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