Workington Town to face Doncaster on Sunday
Last updated at 20:44, Thursday, 17 May 2012
Table-topping Doncaster will do away with their expansive style of rugby to get down and dirty at Derwent Park on Sunday.
Averaging more than 40 points a game, the Dons’ free-flowing rugby has seen them sitting pretty at the top of Championship One.
Used to the vast space at the Keepmoat Stadium, Workington Town’s narrow playing surface will pose a different threat.
Doncaster skipper Craig Robinson is hoping to be fit following a medial knee ligament injury, and said: “Derwent Park is a difficult place to go because the speedway track makes it a very tight pitch.
“We like to play an expansive game but we may have to adapt our tactics.”
In Stu Sanderson, Doncaster have a player looking to make an impact on one of his home pitches.
The Whitehaven-born fullback was a product of Wath Brown, and said: “We know it is going to be tough. It always is up in Cumbria.
“Workington has a big pack so we’ve got to get on top in the forward exchanges if we are to win the game.
“The fact that the pitch at Derwent Park is very tight makes it even more imperative that you win the forward battle.
“There isn’t the space out wide, like the Keepmoat Stadium, to play an expansive game and you generally get more forward-dominated games.”
The Yorkshire outfit come up against the league’s best defence with Workington Town conceding just 92 points from their seven games.
Town lost 20-12 to Cumbrian rivals Barrow last time out, and coach Gary Charlton blamed a lack of match action for the loss that slumped Workington to third.
He added: “Two games in a month doesn’t make you battle-hardened to face a team like Barrow.
“We had two weeks off, and we’d rather have been playing week-in, week-out.
“When you come up against a capable team you need to be up and running.”
But before the match, they announced the signing of former England flyer Mark Calderwood.
The 30-year-old winger has agreed a move until the end of the season.
Calderwood has played his entire professional career in Super League, turning out for Leeds, Wigan, Hull and Harlequins.
Charlton is delighted to capture a player with 119 top-flight tries under his belt and a string of international appearances to his name.
He said: “It’s not often you get a player of his calibre coming out of Super League.”
A friend of Town forward Jamie Thackray, who had a role in securing his signature, Calderwood trained with the squad for the first time last week.
A number of potential deals for Calderwood fell through after he left Quins at the end of last year, and he has been turning out for the side he coaches in Leeds, Pennine League Division Five side Farnley Falcons.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Dawes will undergo surgery to discover the extent of a knee injury.
Charlton said: “The surgeon will see what the damage is, and if it’s not too major it can be sorted out there and then.”
First published at 19:20, Thursday, 17 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk