Championship preview: Doncaster v Halifax

Doncaster got their first win of the season last week, a 34-26 victory over Hunslet Hawks. “It’s been a long time coming and I’m pleased for the players more than anything,” said coach Gary Thornton. “They’ve continued to work hard throughout and remained positive, which is tough to do when you’ve lost so many games on the bounce.

“I thought we deserved it on the day and I’m really pleased for the fans as well – it was a good day all round.

“It was good to get some players back last week. Matt Groat came back after his three-match ban, which was a massive boost for us. Bringing Joe McLocklan and Ryan Wright in helped and Tom Carr as well. Those four made a massive difference.

“I’m hoping we can kick on this week, we ‘ve got a slight problem in the half-backs in that part of Paul Mennell’s release from Halifax means he can’t play against them. That aside, we’re looking forward to it. If we can continue the form we showed on Sunday I don’t think we have to fear too much. We’ve got to go in there reasonably confident and just play like we did on Sunday.”

Prop Brett Waller is doubtful with a knee injury.

Richard Marshall’s Halifax side continued their good run against Batley Bulldogs but admits it was a tough contest: “It was a bit of battle last week,” he said. “We pulled away but credit to Batley they came back and made a real good game of it. It could have gone either way right up to the last minute. We did enough to win, which is important at this time of year, but the performance wasn’t of the standard that we expected and have had over the last six weeks.

“It’s good that Doncaster won last week, you don’t want to any team going through a season without a win. They’ll be buoyed by the win and confident. They have nothing to lose and that will be the attitude they’ll be playing with, so we need to counter that. We know what’s at stake for us. It’s important we just deal with righting our performance from last week and not get carried away with league positions.”

Full–back Ben Heaton is a doubt with a dead leg but wing Gareth Potts is available.