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Kingstone Press Championship Round 21 – Doncaster v Hunslet Hawks Preview

Doncaster keep searching for their first win of the season, can they earn it at the 21st time of asking against Hunslet Hawks at the Keepmoat Stadium this Sunday? Gary Thornton’s side will have a good chance considering Hunslet played Leigh on Wednesday so they’ve a short turnaround for this match.

Last Time Out

Doncaster made their way across Yorkshire to face Batley Bulldogs at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. Due to Batley’s shoddy recent form, the Dons will have gone into this game with slight hope of causing an upset despite a heavy loss to fellow strugglers Whitehaven the week before. However, Batley controlled proceedings and won 34-6. The hosts went into half-time with a 24-0 lead after five first half tries, two coming tom Wayne Reittie and singles from Alex Brown, Shaun Squires and Tom Lillycrop. After the restart, Cain Southernwood and Squires again registered four pointers for John Kear’s men before Paul Mennell got Doncaster on the scoresheet with six minutes to spare.

Hunslet had a tough night at the office on Wednesday when they played their game in hand. Barry Eaton’s men faced Leigh Centurions and lost out to the current Championship champions. Leigh had a 46-0 lead at half-time after a brace from both Gregg McNally and Matt Sarsfield, as well as singles from Micky Higham, Kurt Haggerty, Martyn Ridyard and Martin Aspinwall. McNally scored three more tries during the second half as he got five for the night, while Liam Kay and Higham completed their braces. Despite the big loss, Hunslet took a shred of comfort home with them as Mufaro Mvududu crossed the chalk for the West Yorkshire side in the final quarter. A tough assignment to go to Leigh for any side in midweek, never mind a part-time side.

Key Battle

Two of the brightest talents in the Championship division go head-to-head on Sunday as Doncaster full-back Dave Scott meets Hunslet’s very own last line of defence Jimmy Watson. Both have electrifying pace once they get going so any broken field will be capitalised on with ease. Hopefully there’ll be an expansive game of rugby league on show so people can see the true quality these two players possess.

Prediction

After their seventh successive Championship defeat on Wednesday night, it’s vital that Hunslet get back to winning ways this weekend against a side who are on a longer slump than themselves. Doncaster had a horror show in their last home match against Whitehaven so they’ll be wanting to put on a better display on Sunday, if they don’t then there’s a massive possibility they’ll have too much work to do in the Championship Shield to secure safety – Hunslet by 13

I study Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. Write about the Kingstone Press Championship for a few websites, as well as doing match reports and previews for Sheffield Eagles.

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