Championship Preview: Doncaster v Featherstone Rovers

Doncaster have a doubt over Mark Castle
Doncaster have a doubt over Mark Castle

Sunday 3.00pm at the Keepmoat Stadium

Doncaster are looking to return to winning ways at the Keepmoat in an intriguing top of the table contest. They lost to Dewsbury Rams on their last home appearance but have since won at Batley Bulldogs, and defeated the British Army in the Challenge Cup. Indeed, both the Dons and Featherstone have only lost once in league action, both going down to Dewsbury Rams.

Both coaches are intent on going into the game as underdogs. Liam Cunningham (groin), Brett Waller and Kyle Kesik are all missing for Doncaster, while Mark Castle faces a late fitness test.

“We’re doing it tough, but it’s an opportunity for other players to show their abilities. It doesn’t matter who’s not available; what matters is the guys that are out there pulling on the shirt,” said Doncaster coach Paul Cooke.

“It’s a big challenge against Featherstone, and then Halifax next week, but we should be confident. There’s no great pressure on us other than the pressure we put on ourselves, and on the flip side there is immense pressure on Featherstone given that they have topped the table for the last four years.”

But Rovers coach John Bastian insists the pressure is on Doncaster.

“They have started the season particularly well. They are a very good side and, on their home ground, they will probably be slight favourites this weekend,” said Bastian. “I’ve been watching some of their games and they look a formidable outfit.”

On Featherstone’s performances, he added: “We are building slowly, but you can certainly see that we’re improving from week to week.” Liam Walmsley and Matt Nicholson are the only absentees for the visitors.