Doncaster RLFC: Gary Thornton feared the worst

Louis Sheriff is congratulated after his try against Keighley
Louis Sheriff is congratulated after his try against Keighley
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Doncaster RLFC boss Gary Thornton was a much happier man at full-time in Sunday’s League One Super 8s clash against Keighley than he had been midway through the second half.

Thornton, who had just 17 fit players to choose from, admits he feared the worst when the fifth-placed Dons trailed Keighley Cougars, the team immediately below them, 24-12.

“I never thought we had looked like scoring in the first 20 minutes of the half to be honest and I was worried going into the last quarter,” he said.

“We weren’t creating anything and we were coming up with some poor options and it looked as though we were panicking.

“But we dug really deep in the last 20 minutes and I was proud of the lads and they showed terrific character.

“I think the turning point was when we scored our third try and cut their lead to six points with fifteen minutes to go. I was reasonably confident then and in the end I thought we just about deserved to edge it.

“It actually turned out to be a good day for us because with York losing at home to Hunslet we climbed above them into fourth spot and with just three games to go it’s our position to lose.

“If we can get a couple of bodies back I don’t see why we can’t go to Rochdale and win on Sunday week.

“This week’s weekend off due to the Challenge Cup final has come at a good time for us and it gives us the chance to get second-rower Mason Tonks sorted out as well as such as Ryan Wright

“That’s the first game of three in eight days, which is going to be tough on the players, but if we can beat Rochdale then we are in the play-offs.

“I wouldn’t want to have to go into our final game having to beat London.

“I was always worried that York’s decision to call off our first game would have an impact and that’s what it has done and even with a couple of players back it is going to be a big ask for the players to play three games in eight days.

“It will be another tough game but if Hunslet can beat York at Bootham Crescent why can’t we do the same?