Doncaster RLFC v Whitehaven: Doherty still confident Dons can secure play-off spot

Sam Doherty is on course to record his best tally in a season since joining the Dons three years ago.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 12th August 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 11:04 am
Sam Doherty. Photo: Rob Terrace
Sam Doherty. Photo: Rob Terrace

Doherty is one try short of double figures with a possible seven games to go.

Although five behind Jason Tali and four behind Kieran Cross, he still hasn't given up hopes of finishing the club's top try-scorer this season.

He makes it clear, however, that his number one priority this season is helping the Dons get promoted back to the Championship at the second attempt.

“No disrespect to League One, but we all want to be playing Championship rugby again next season,” he said.

“Having said that it’s not an easy league to get out of and it has proved tougher than we expected when we were relegated in 2015.

“We had hoped to finish in the top four in the regular season and we’ve given ourselves a bit to do in the Super 8s.

“We always knew that Barrow would be a tough place to go but we didn’t expect to lose at home to Keighley in our opening game because we’d targeted three wins from our three home games in the 8s.

“To lose both opening games isn’t the start that we’d hoped for and we don’t want to suffer a third defeat against Whitehaven at home on Sunday.

“We lost up at Whitehaven in the league at the end of June but we finished strongly and only lost by five points so hopefully we can beat them with home advantage.

“I didn’t play in the game at the Recreation Ground but they’ve obviously had a good season and we’ll need to play well to beat them.

“Hopefully we can take some confidence from our performance at Barrow.

“We’ve got some tough away games coming up but I’m still confident we’ll finish in the top five and make the play-offs.”

Head coach Richard Horne is unlikely to make many changes following the improved display but with such a big squad he’s not short of options – particularly on the flanks.

Signed as a centre but used mainly on the wing this season, Doherty said: "There is a lot of competition for places and the players currently not in the team are putting pressure on those who are which is keeping everyone on their toes.

“If you don’t play well we all know we could miss the next game.”