DONCASTER KNIGHTS: Wing and a prayer for Knights ace Dan Smith

Mindset: Dan Smith has had the whole backline coaching him
Mindset: Dan Smith has had the whole backline coaching him
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DONCASTER Knights star Dan Smith will be on a hat-trick in Friday’s Championship clash against fellow strugglers Moseley at Castle Park.

The 6’ 5” second-rower looked to be a surprise choice on the wing for the club’s opening British & Irish Cup Pool 8 game against Melrose ten days ago, but Smith told The Star that it had been on the cards for some time.

“Brett (director of rugby Brett Davey) first sounded me out about playing on the wing near the back end of last season,” said Smith. “You could have knocked me over with a feather because I’d never played there before.

“There is a massive difference between playing in the second-row and on the wing. It’s taking time to adjust and I’ve still not fully adjusted.

“I’m lucky in the support that I’ve been getting from injured winger Michael Keating and the other wingers in the squad, Tyson Lewis and Dougie Flockhart.

“I’ve also been having some one-to-one sessions with skills coach Tom Luke, so pretty much the whole backline has been helping me.

“I’m enjoying playing and I’ve been happy with my performances in the two games I’ve played there and it’s just a case of trying to carry on and get better.

“I’ve now got the mindset of a winger having trained with the backs. It’s a different sort of training to what I’ve been used to when I was playing in the forwards.”

Smith, who has battled back from several career-threatening injuries, scored one of the consolation tries against Melrose and he also got over in Knights’ 27-13 win over Nottingham in their second B &I Cup game at Meadow Lane last Friday as they claimed their first win of the season.

Although any win over the green and whites, especially at Meadow Lane, is welcome that was especially the case on Friday with it being the Castle Park club’s first win in any competition this season.

We played some really good rugby, especially in the first half,” said Smith. “The forwards were dominant and that gave the half-backs a good platform.”

“Even though we led 21-7 at the interval we didn’t think that the game was won because we’d led Melrose 19-7 at half-time and we ended up losing 30-29. We were pleased how we’d played but we knew that there was another 40 minutes to go and that a lot can happen in that time.

“They scored a try and put us under a bit more pressure than they had done in the first half, but we never looked like losing the game.

“It’s always nice to come in on a Monday to start preparing for the next game having won your last one. That was even more the case this week with it being our first win.

“We celebrated the Nottingham win but we’ve just focused on the Moseley game this week because it’s a very important game for us; we need to start picking up points and climb away from the relegation area.

“Hopefully I can get over for another try but the main thing is that we beat them.”