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Oldham falter as Doncaster win 36–0

ROUGHYEDS’ promotion hopes were dealt a blow after they were out-fought by Doncaster who won 36-0 at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Doncaster — a side full of big, strong forwards — won the battle for field position early on and Oldham, despite their efforts, could not wrestle back any momentum.

The likes of Mahe Fonua and Albert Vete, two men with bags of Super League experience, were simply too strong for Oldham who, for large parts, were penned in their own half.

The introduction of Jamie Ellis, who played a long stint in his first appearance for the club, showed glimpses of what he was made of, but his presence could not change matters with the South Yorkshire side always in control.

It was a bad day at the office both in attack and defence with Oldham throwing away any territory they had gained through dropped balls and a lack of discipline.

It took five minutes for Doncaster to score and it was Mahe Fonua, who has over 100 appearances in Super League, who bundled his way past an isolated Kian Morgan to ground the ball.

Shortly after, there was a chance for Oldham to respond when Connor Carr grabbed hold of a loose Doncaster pass, but as Oldham piled towards the Doncaster line, Jordan Paga could not keep hold of the ball.

The Dons attacks were relentless and, off the back of a second goal-line drop-out, Albert Vete steamrolled his way over from close range.

Some indiscipline, when Oldham were penalised for play-the-ball interference, gave Doncaster the platform for their third and it was goal-kicker Connor Robinson who sneaked through a gap to score.

Two penalties back-to-back — in Oldham’s favour — gave Roughyeds a chance, but it was thrown away after they were caught offside when Ridyard put a grubber kick towards the posts.

Minutes before half-time, Oldham’s discipline got the better of them when Patrick Ah Van was sin-binned when he tripped a Doncaster winger after the ball had gone.

With Dons in good territory, they made the extra man count when Alex Holdstock powered his way over.

Oldham enjoyed a good ten minute period at the start of the second half, but chances for both Gregg McNally and Nick Rawsthorne went begging.

Matters were made worse for Oldham when McNally was the next man sin-binned for impeding the Dons kicker after the ball had been kicked.

An Ellis 40/20 provided much-needed field position, but Doncaster had an answer to every play they came up with.

Doncaster wanted more and, after some neat interchange passing down the right edge, Tom Halliday got the fifth try of the afternoon when he ran through to ground in the corner.

There was enough time for another Halliday try who, in his own half, spotted a gap and ran the length of the field to score.

It was a performance that fell way below the standards Oldham have set this year, but thanks to their fourth placed finish, Roughyeds’ season is still alive as they get another chance when they face North Wales Crusaders at Boundary Park next Sunday, 3pm kick off.

Scorers:

Doncaster: goals, Robinson 3/4; tries, Fonua, Vete, Robinson, Holdstock

Teams:

DONCASTER: Guzdek; Halliday, Hey, Fonua, Taulapapa; Johnston, Robinson; Vete, Burns, Knowles, Smeaton, Ferres, McConnell. Subs: Foster, Holdstock, James, Boas (all used). 18th Man: Cooper

OLDHAM: McNally; Rawsthorne, Carr, Morgan, Ah Van; Ridyard, Paga; Nelmes, Wilkinson, Meadows, Hirst, Baker, Whittel. Subs: Ellis, Cameron, Newton, Moran (all used). 18th Man: Sean Slater.

Referee: Kevin Moore; HT: 24-0; Pens: 5-6.

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