Workington 12 Doncaster 22: Doncaster’s fightback inspired by new boss Cooke

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PAUL Cooke masterminded a deserved victory at Derwent Park as Doncaster repeated their 2013 win in west Cumbria.

The new player-coach was hugely influential in a stirring comeback from the Dons whio had found themselves 12-0 down inside nine minutes.

Doncaster hit back to score four tries and did not allow Town to add another point to their tally as Cumbrian Stu Sanderson led the way. The former Wath Brow amateur helped himself to two tries and three conversions.

Cooke said: “To come back from such a poor start was very encouraging. We had been forced onto the back foot as Town made a very positive start but we didn’t panic and by the second half were doing the right things. I was very pleased to start the season with an away win.”

Workington had been quickly out of the blocks, going close twice through Jarrad Stack and Elliott Miller before the latter pounced for a try. Kayle Connor converted, as he did when Lewis Tierney sprinted through for the second try

As the half progressed Doncaster came more into the game and both Mike Emmett and Jay Pitts were held up over the line before they managed to reduce the arrears on 24 minutes.

Scott Sanderson got the touchdown after Cooke, Dan Niklas and Kyle Kesik had moved the ball sweetly along the line. It did go to ground but Sanderson was quickest to react.

It was still 12-4 at the break, but there was a change in momentum on the turn-round.

Doncaster had more possession and territory and as a result dominated the second half.

On 48 minutes they closed the gap as a persistent spell of pressure ended with Cooke and Niklas setting up Mark Castle near the line. Sanderson converted.

On 54 minutes Dave Scott wriggled through and over the line with Sanderson adding another conversion and from that point the excellent Cooke pushed his side around as they had the game under control.

The try that clinched it came on 70 minutes.

The Town defence was caught out after Cooke got the ball wide and Sanderson finished off well before adding an excellent conversion.

Workington Town: Tierney, Miller, Connor, Murphy, Haney, Lupton, C. Phillips, Coward, Mattinson, McAvoy, B. Phillips, Stack, Olstrum. Substitutes: Morris, Shackley, Rooney, Lever.

Doncaster: Butterfield, Scott, Arundle, Whelan, Sanderson, Cooke, Niklas, Pitts, Kesick, Spiers, Robinson, Kelly, Enmett. Substitutes: Spaven, Hadley, Carbutt, Castle.

Referee: J Bloem (Halifax).