Kingstone Press Championship Preview: Doncaster v Featherstone Rovers

Doncaster player/coach Paul Cooke says that his team have learned some harsh lessons following last week’s defeat to London Broncos.

“Such is in the quality of the division this year that you can’t give teams the start like we did,” he said.

“When you find yourself 26 points down after 45 minutes it’s certainly a mountain to climb. We can take a bit of confidence from the way we finished the game but we got nothing out of it and learned some really harsh lessons.

“I have full confidence in the players, they know I’ll back them all the way. The start doesn’t get any easier for us when you consider Featherstone were in the top two last year. We’ve got to concentrate on how we’ve going to beat them, they are a quality outfit.”

Cooke has no injury concerns but will check on the fitness of Kyle Kesik who missed last week’s game.

Andy Hay, Featherstone Rovers coach, was pleased to get off to a winning start against Hunslet on Monday but feels his team still have a lot to work on.

“We’re a new team with eight or nine players making their debuts on Monday night and we’ve got to gel pretty quickly,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be a very tough game at Doncaster; they’re a good side. They’ve got a good player in Paul Cooke and called on a few players from Hull FC under the dual registration system so we’re expecting a tough game.

“I’m surprised that London got such a good start over them but again teams at this time of year can be a little bit rusty. I expect them to be a lot better with that game under their belt. They’ll be brimming with confidence at nearly turning London over.”

Hay’s only injury concern is full-back Ian Hardman.

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