Thursday, 26 April 2012

Look Out Here Come: Doncaster

Sunday sees the ostensibly free-scoring Doncaster come to Spotland. 4 wins from 5, the first team in CC1 to hit 200 points, the most meagre defence in the league, the biggest points difference. But closer examination reveals them to be less of a juggernaut than the stats suggest.

Apart from a stunning opening day win against Whitehaven, they've gone on to beat strugglers Gateshead (shipping 22 in the process), Skolars and SW Scorpions, Their defeat came when they faded in the 2nd half to lose 25 to 8 at Barrow.

Whilst the Dons have, this week, shored up their promotion push with the dual registration signing of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats centre Danny Cowling, they were the source of the season's highest profile signing story when they signed East Yorkshire's enigmatic Enfant Terrible Paul Cooke.

Having pumped fans and sponsors to raise the necessary cash, pretty much everyone was amazed when Cooke - a Challenge Cup winner with Hull FC in 2005, who'd been sat at home watching daytime TV after being released by both Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity in 2010 - signed a one-year contract at the Keepmoat.

Whether it proves to be a case of Donny putting all of their eggs in one basket-case remains to be seen and it'll be interesting to measure Cooke's influence on the team - particularly as, thus far, he's only got over the whitewash against 'Haven; though he has proven fairly effective with the boot.

Quoted on earlier this month Cooke says that he's re-discovered his appetite for the game.

"The enjoyment of the game has come back for me. As a professional sometimes you can lose sight of the reasons you play the game with all the extra pressures that come with it but the lads at Doncaster all play the game for the right reasons and my love of the game has returned."
Good for him - let's hope he doesn't enjoy Sunday too much.