Doncaster Knights remain in the bottom three of the Championship but head coach Glen Kenworthy feels they have turned the corner after their spirited display in a 29-28 defeat away to fourth-placed Bedford at Goldington Road.
Knights picked up two bonus points but Kenworthy argued it could easily have been five.
“Having watched the game back both their second half tries should have been disallowed,” he claimed.
“The first, which made it 24-7, the scorer clearly had his foot in touch and the one which opened up a 29-21 lead near the end, the pass was well forward and I’m surprised the officials missed it.”
The match, as is often the case at Goldington Road due to the considerable slope on the pitch, was a game of two halves.
“We won the toss and decided to play up the slope and into the blustery wind in the first half and the intention was to keep them within sight,” said Kenworthy.
“When they caught us out wide to score those two early tries I felt that we were in for a long afternoon.
“But the boys dug in and put them under a bit of pressure and they didn’t score again until they capitalised on an over throw by hooker Ben Hunter just before the interval to score from a crossfield kick.
“Obviously we’d have been happier to have come in just ten points down rather than seventeen, but we still felt that we were in with a chance and when Willie Ryan scored out wide within a couple of minutes of the restart that gave them belief.
“Even though they scored next the boys continued to play well and we scored some nice tries and got to within a point of them deep into injury time.
“We could have won the game. We got ourselves into position to set ourselves up for a drop goal but we didn’t take it. I don’t know whether it was down to a lack of belief or whatever but it’s something we’ll discuss at the match review.”
The game saw depleted Knights draft in two forwards on dual-registration and both Newcastle’s Sam Mullen, who came on after 50 minutes, and young Shale Sharks back-row prospect Ciaran Booth impressed Kenworthy.