TONY MILLER claims his return as Doncaster coach is only temporary to “help out” the club as they seek a new man.
He left the South Yorkshire outfit in 2013 after a 23-year association, Paul Cooke stepping up to take over as player-coach.
Cooke, though, was sacked a week ago after 17 straight losses dating back to last August.
Miller stepped in yesterday and saw the Championship’s bottom club battle hard against Hunslet Hawks at Blackpool’s Summer Bash before, ultimately, losing again.
“I spoke to (chief executive) Carl (Hall) and said I’d help out for a couple of weeks until he gets someone in place,” he said.
“It’s my club – it has been for years – and I’d do anything I can to help. I’m too busy work-wise for it to be anything more, but I did enjoy it.
“The effort from the players was there to see and you can see they are not a million miles off.
“The team spirit remarkably is pretty good to say they’ve not won for 18 games, but I feel for them as they worked for the full 80 and deserved a bit better.
“I was desperate for them to get a win – for themselves.”
Doncaster could have been ahead after Tom Hodson scored in the 54th minute but Dave Scott was unable to convert any of their three tries so they trailed 16-12.
From there, Hunslet’s greater experience and confidence saw them home, Danny Ansell adding a penalty before converting Luke Briscoe’s 63rd-minute try and slotting a late drop goal.
Hunslet opened the scoring through dual-registered Leeds Rhinos centre Jimmy Keinhorst on seven minutes but scrum-half Richard Wilkinson quickly responded.
Hunslet full-back Jimmy Watson showed great footwork for their second, Danny Maun adding a third after Briscoe’s break and more slick handling.
But Shaun Leaf slipped over with relative ease for Doncaster before the break and Hodson kept them in touch.
On Cooke, Miller said: “He is a friend of mine. I fetched Cookey to the club and he is a good coach.
“I’m sure he’ll come back stronger for it. Sometimes you need to take a step back to go forward.
“Cookey has a lot to offer. I’m sure he’ll be alright.”
Doncaster: Scott; Doherty, Welham, Cowling, Hodson; Nicklas, Wilkinson; Groat, Emmett, Clark, Snitch, Kelly, Dunn. Substitutes: Spiers, Carbutt, Kesik, Leaf.
Hunslet Hawks: Watson; Briscoe, Keinhorst, Maun, Finnigan; Kain, Ansell; Yates, Ward, Haley, Martin, Casey, Mackay. Substitutes: Flanagan, Mulhern, Lyons, Mvududu.
Referee: J Bloem (South Africa)