Doncaster pay Stags respect in ‘special’ competition
By Lewis Firth
Doncaster player-coach Paul Cooke is relishing the prospect of taking his side far into the Tetley’s Challenge Cup as they prepare to face Hemel Stags in their fourth round tie at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster on Sunday (2.00pm).
However, Cooke doesn’t want his players to underestimate their Championship One opponents in their second tie in Rugby League’s most historic and prestigious competition.
“It is a special, special competition,” said Cooke. “It is renowned in this country and in Australia and watched as a spectacle all over the globe. A sub-par performance against Hemel won’t be accepted.
“It is the players you get to see week in, week out on television that don’t worry me – what worries me is a young kid coming through that I know nothing about.
“They are dangerous and just because people don’t know their name doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect. We’re going to take a look at Hemel on DVD and show them respect.
“Our players are a really good bunch. We have retained a great deal of them this season and there is a lot of quality in the side. It’s no surprise to us that we’re going well in the Championship but I think it is a bit of a surprise to others.”
Hemel coach Troy Perkins knows what a tough task his side faces ahead of their trip to Yorkshire, though believes that his players will benefit from the experience.
“It’s going to be a good experience for our players, like last year when we played Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in the Cup - the boys were still talking about that one months down the line,” said Perkins.
“We’re going to a stadium that is probably suitable for Super League, and it will be a massive test. You could say Doncaster have snuck under the radar a little bit in the Championship but they have done well.
“Our first game of the season seemed like a massive defeat but I knew we’d improve because it was a work in progress and all about building week-by-week. I’ve always believed we put together a decent squad.
“We’ll give 100 per cent effort and whatever happens, happens. You would probably say we have to be at our best and catch Doncaster off their guard to go through, but stranger things have happened.”
Tickets for the Doncaster v Hemel Stags Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round tie at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm) can be purchased for as little as £10 for adults, £8 for concessions, £2 for children and free entry for under-5s.
Tickets for the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 cost from as little as £22 and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.
To take advantage of the limited-time seat upgrade offer for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final, Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 please use the promotional code CCF01 to pay the price category below the seat selected (not available on £22 or £77 seats). This offer is available until Friday April 18.