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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Doncaster want to prove they're no one-man team

DONCASTER are out to prove they are no one-man team this year – but Barrow Raiders will need no convincing of that.

Paul Cooke was the huge name in their side for the 2012 Championship One campaign, with his work from half-back helping propel them to the title.

Coach Tony Miller knows many people will think that stopping the number six is the solution to stopping the Dons full-stop. But he can point to the Grand Final triumph over Raiders – minus an injured Cooke – as evidence his side have much more to offer than a single player.

“Paul Cooke was influential for us last year and he can be again if he keeps fit,” said Miller, who won a raft of coach of the year awards following Doncaster’s success last season.

“He broke his kneecap, but we still managed to win the Grand Final without him, which I think was good for the players, showing we weren’t just relying on Paul Cooke and we weren’t a one-person team.

“He is influential and I know we need a fit Paul Cooke, but there are a lot of others.

“The likes of Danny Cowling, Lucas Walshaw, Bobbie Goulding Jnr are the players we have already dual-registered with Wakefield.

“We could possibly get another one if we wanted and then there is James Clare on a season-long loan from Castleford.

“These are all real quality players who will add to our squad and I am delighted to have them.”

Doncaster are one of the Championship sides hoping to benefit from their dual-registration policy this term. The Dons have linked with Wakefield to bring in a number of players – but rather specific players than the Super League side’s whole squad, as is the case elsewhere.

Those players will all be key to helping them stay in the division and Miller added: “First and foremost we’ve got to consolidate and keep in the division.

“We’ve strengthened from last year, but we’re under no illusions – it is going to be tough.

“There are exciting times ahead and I think there are going to be some great encounters along the way.

“We’ve set a goal and said that if we can finish around mid-table then it will probably have been as successful a year as it was last year.

“We’re not going to make any rash predictions – we are going to take every game one at a time.

“I do think there will be maybe four or five teams who are expected to win, but I still think one or two of them could come unstuck if they don’t prepare right for their matches against the other teams.

“You’ve got to try and win your home games and if you do get beat, get as many bonus points as you can. I think it will come down to the wire and it will be an exciting competition I am looking forward to.”

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