Kingstone Press Championship
Doncaster – 40 (22) Rochdale – 10 (6)
Keepmoat Stadium Attendance - 600
Doncaster recorded a searing win at the Keepmoat Stadium to end a two match losing run and keep their charge for the top eight well and truly alive.
Wingers Dave Scott (12 points) and Tom Hodson (8 points) seemed in direct competition with each other as Paul Cooke’s men flexed their authoritative muscles.
Cooke’s men got off to a flyer courtesy of their hooker, Kyle Kesik, who scampered over from a few metres out to hand Doncaster the initiative within the opening 120 seconds.
A sublime bit of individual skill from the player/coach carved up Rochdale’s right wing and his deliberate looping pass evading the clutches of two defenders for Shaun Leaf to latch on to at full tilt.
Despite Scott converting both efforts, Rochdale found a way back in to the game through Shaun Robinson who collected an ‘up-and-under’ to ground and give the visitors hope.
Mark Castle barged his way over to punish the Hornets ill-discipline and restore that twelve point cushion, which, once Tom Hodson grounded four minutes prior to half time, was only going to be extended.
Hodson notched his second of the afternoon just four minutes after the restart; a blistering break from the impressive Richard Wilkinson, who was duly awarded the man of the match award, gave Dave Scott an opportunity to help feed it wide to his grateful partner.
The Dons rarely had to defend their line and even when pressure was applied, they came up trumps.
Rochdale coughed the ball up within metres of the line for the hosts to break and put the ball through a series of hands for a breakaway try; Cooke’s calmness noticeable as he put Wilkinson over in the corner some 90 metres after the move had started.
If that was a fine team effort, then Dave Scott’s solo surge to the line from his own try line will have the purists struggling to separate two excellent tries which, individually, were fit to win any game.
After Scott Spaven had burrowed his way over for the Dons 7th of the afternoon, Rochdale notched a consolation through hooker James Dandy before Scott’s ‘piece de resistance’ settled proceedings.
Doncaster tries: Kesik, Leaf, Castle, Hodson x 2, Wilkinson, Spaven, Scott. Doncaster conversions: Scott (4 from 8).
Rochdale tries: Robinson, Dandy. Rochdale conversion: Crook (1 from 2).
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