Rugby League / Round-Up: Doncaster's delight

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The Independent Online
DONCASTER provided the main upset on the opening day of the Stones Bitter Championship with a 29-20 win at St Helens yesterday. The South Yorkshire side, playing in the top flight for the first time in their 43-year history and priced at 2,000-1 to win the title, shook the Saints in the first half when two tries from the South African full-back, Jamie Bloem, helped them to a 18-4 lead.

St Helens' pounds 135,000 summer signing, Bobby Goulding, initiated a second-half revival by creating tries for the Great Britain internationals, Paul Loughlin and Alan Hunte, but Audley Pennant's 55th-minute try effectively sealed a famous victory for the Dons.

Warrington, second on points difference to Wigan last season, had to settle for a 16-16 draw at Hull, where the Wales and Great Britain cap, Jonathan Davies, put over a second- half penalty goal from two yards inside his own half.

The Widnes forward, David Smith, was sent off for alleged use of the elbow on Castleford's full-back, Graham Steadman, as his team slumped to a 30-16 defeat. The New Zealand international, Aaron Whittaker, enjoyed a dream debut for Wakefield, scoring a try, two goals and a drop goal to help Trinity to a 13-10 win over Salford.

The Great Britain coach, Mal Reilly - linked with a move to the Australian club, Newcastle Knights - watched his Halifax side gain a 40-20 victory at Oldham in what could be his last match in charge. Even if he does take over at Newcastle, there is a possibility that Reilly could still lead Great Britain in the eagerly-awaited Ashes series against the world champions, Australia, this autumn, as he would probably not be needed in New South Wales until the start of next year.

The former Oldham forward, Paul Round, was the Halifax match-winner with two late tries after the home side had overturned an early 12-point deficit to lead 20-16. Round's second-row partner, Paul Moriarty, was also a try- scorer on his Halifax debut.

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