Doncaster 48 North Wales 12
Doncaster sailed to a 48-12 win over North Wales Crusaders and went one step further towards winning the league title as a result.by NRL
Doncaster sailed to a 48-12 win over North Wales Crusaders and went one step further towards winning the league title as a result.
It was a tough ask for the less experienced Welsh side to go to Yorkshire and win, especially as Doncaster had won every game at home this season.
While results went for Doncaster, who just need to win their last game to be crowned champions, they went against the Crusaders, with play-off rivals Rochdale and Oldham winning games at home to Barrow and Workington respectively.
The defeat leaves the Crusaders in seventh place and out of the play-off places for 2012 unless they can pull off a win at Whitehaven in a fortnight and hope that the aforementioned Manchester sides slip up.
Doncaster took the lead after just five minutes when Dan Cowling who raced into the corner after evading a tackle. Paul Cooke missed the kick.
Strong defending from the Welsh side denied them a second until 15 minutes. There seemed to be no way through but the ball was moved out wide to Chris Spurr who raced through a gap. Cooke converted.
Intense pressure from Crusaders gave them their first try on 21 minutes. A simple pass out to Leon Brennan who forced his way over the line. Tommy Johnson converted to bring the score back to 10-6.
A knock-on gave Doncaster their third try. A simple pop-off from Cooke to Carl Hughes presented him with an easy chance to score which Cooke converted.
With both sides giving away a number of penalties, it was difficult to tell which side was going to score next but in the end it was the home side.
It came from some beautiful running rugby from the Dons down the left wing. Robinson broke the line and passed inside to Cowling who ran over for second which Cooke goaled.
Crusaders were unlucky not to get another try back before the break. After being awarded a penalty in their own half, they took a quick tap and run half the length of the pitch, but Doncaster dealt with the intense pressure on their own try line well to keep the score 22-6 at the break.
Doncaster dealt early second half pressure well and showed the mark of potential champions by keeping out the Crusaders, who have proved to have been a good attacking side all season, then turning defence into attack to score.
Their first try of the half was on 48 minutes. An outstanding run from Colton down the wing created the chance. A couple of passes inside allowed Lee Waterman to score and Cooke added the extras.
The Dons full-back quickly added another which went unconverted and a mistake from kick-off led to the third try of the half. Crusaders kicked the ball out on the full and the resulting set led to Craig Fawcett scoring a simple try under the posts which Cooke converted.
Crusaders kept on fighting back. They were denied a couple of tries by good tackles before skipper Andy Moulsdale eventually crossed following a good break. Johnson converted.
However the Dons finished on a high with two further tries in the last five minutes. It looked like Emmett would score the first before being pulled back, but the ball was moved out wide to Grant Edwards to finish.
Then a stunning solo effort from Nathan Powley saw him scamper his way over the line dodging two or three tackles on his way. Waterman added the extras in the final kick of the game.
Doncaster: Lee Waterman, Dean Colton, Chris Spurr, Dan Cowling, Stewart Sanderson, Paul Cooke, Craig Fawcett, Mark Castle, Mike Emmett, Russ Spiers, Lucas Walshaw, Grant Edwards, Carl Hughes. Subs: Craig Lawton, Liam Cunningham, Nathan Powley, Craig Robinson.
Tries: Cowling (5, 37) Spurr (15) Hughes (25) Waterman (48, 54) Fawcett (56) Edwards (74) Powley (79)
Goals: Cooke 5/8, Waterman 1/1
North Wales Crusaders: Tommy Johnson, Adam Clay, Toby Adamson, Leon Brennan, Rob Massam, Jamie Durbin, Billy Sheen, Jonny Walker, Lee Hudson, Simon Stephens, Andy Gorski, Liam Hulme, Jono Smith. Subs: Owain Brown, Anthony Morrison, Andy Moulsdale, Owain Griffiths.
Tries: Brennan (21) Moulsdale (69)
Goals: Johnson 2/2
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