Doncaster RLFC: Practice makes perfect for Dons at Cantley Park

Sam Doherty. Photo: Rob Terrace
Sam Doherty. Photo: Rob Terrace

Table-topping Doncaster RLFC are back training at Cantley Park after spending the winter months at the home of Doncaster Knights.

Dons No 2 Pete Green says the club’s decision to train at Castle Park during pre-season helped them hit the ground running when their League One campaign kicked off in mid-February,.

The club continued to use Castle Park, which enabled them to train outdoors, until the start of the month.

Neither Rovers or the Dons train on the Keepmoat Stadium pitch to help prevent further wear and tear but Green says that isn’t a problem due to the facilities at the training ground.

“We have a full-sized pitch with posts which we train on,” said Green. “Having post means the goal-kickers can practice both kicking from a tee and drop goals.

“They all spend time out there after training has finished because that is the sort of players they are.

“Between them they’ll do hundreds of drop goals in a season because you never know when you might need one to win you a game.”

With the first training session of the week having moved back to a Tuesday since the move back to Cantley, head coach Richard Horne has more time to prepare video clips from the weekend game and of the club’s next opponents.

Green added: “Among the things we do apart from working on tactics and areas we feel need addressing from the previous game, is practice putting the back-three under the sort of pressure they come under from kicks during a game.”

He added: “Finishing is absolutely critical, especially in tight games, and the rule change which allows the attacking player to hit the corner post has affected the way that players can finish these days and you see some spectacular efforts at all levels.

“The club’s wingers practice their finishing skills in training and as well as their acrobatic ability they have to be able to grip the ball at the same time and that is another great skill.

“Sometimes you have to make changes to accommodate that and since we switched Sam Doherty back to the right wing his finishing has improved because he (naturally) carries the ball in his right hand and uses a left-hand fend.

“If you’ve a good fend, a good stretch and a good grip you are going to score some tries as Sam has done.”