Doncaster RLFC v Hunslet Hawks: Kieran Cross flying the flag for his hometown

Kieran Cross. Photo: Rob Terrace
Kieran Cross. Photo: Rob Terrace

Local boy Kieran Cross is proving to be the man of the moment for ambitious League One outfit Doncaster RLFC.

The 22-year-old former Doncaster Toll Bar amateur, who is the club's top try-scorer this season, joined an elite group of players to have scored four tries for the club in a game in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round win over University of Gloucestershire All Golds last time out.

“I've always loved scoring tries throughout my career and it's great to be scoring them for my hometown team,” he said.

Signed primarily as cover for hooker Kyle Kesik last season, Cross has stolen the show in several games this season standing in at both scrum-half and stand-off.

His form has given head coach Gary Thornton, who often struggled to fill the gap last season when either of his two first choice half-backs were ruled out, a massive selection headache ahead of the return of Australian scrum-half Jordie Hedges from a four-match ban, for he admits he can't leave Cross out in his current form.

Although regularly in the Doncaster match-day squad last season, Cross was mainly used to give skipper Kesik a breather during games.

Yet he had no complaints.

“I viewed it as being a kind of development season last year,” he said. “I was learning stuff from the other players and from Gary.

“Although being versatile can sometimes count against you, I think it’s a good thing that I can play in several positions.

“I’m happy to play wherever Gary wants me to play. I don’t think that there is a lot of difference between the two half-back positions these days.

“Gary wants the half-backs to direct the team as he did last season and both Jordie and Jordan (Howden) can do that and I hope I've shown that I can as well.”

Reflecting on the season so far, Cross said: “I think overall we’ve got a stronger squad than last season and I think we'll be up there challenging.

“There is probably still room for improvement in attack but it’s not ideal working on moves on the small floodlit pitch at Cantley Park.

“The situation will start to get better from now with the clocks having gone forward an hour at the weekend.

“Hopefully fans will see an improvement in Sunday's game against Hunslet.”