Doncaster Knights: Joe Sproston stays positive despite losing sequence

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Doncaster Knights prop Joe Sproston scored his first try of the season in Saturday’s Championship Cup Pool One game against Nottingham at Castle Park.

But he was in no mood to celebrate following the 19-14 defeat which cost them a place in the quarter-finals.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the team and on the day we lost,” he said.

The second half replacement said he felt that the game was there to be won when he dropped onto the loose ball to reduce Nottingham’s 19-7 interval lead.

“With this team, no matter how many points down we are at half time, I always feel that we are good enough to come back and win because when we turn it on we are a class side. There’s no argument with that.

“When I scored the feeling on the field was that with over 16 minutes to go we’d go on and win the game.

“But that didn’t happen and part of the reason why was because we made couple of silly mistakes in the closing stages including me giving away a penalty close to their line.

“I know they weren’t at full strength but I’ve been in that situation when your backs are against the wall and it can be something which unites players and sometimes you get away with it.

“We were disappointed with our performance but the team they put out played really well. They came at us with a lot of enthusiasm.”

Like all of his team-mates, Sproston said that he was disappointed to exit the cup.

He said: “We sat down before the first of our six group games and we all agreed that we wanted to put down a big statement in the competition.

“We looked like doing that when we picked up a couple of successive wins and we wanted to maintain that run of form.

“I wouldn’t say last Saturday’s defeat was worse than any of the previous three because every defeat hurts,” he added.

“We functioned during certain periods of all four games we lost and that’s something that we’ll try and take positives from.

“As a group we have to remain positive going forward.

“We’ll have had a couple of weeks to stew over the defeat by the time we take on Yorkshire Carnegie at Castle Park in the league.

“We’ll look back on what we did wrong on Saturday and see what we can do about it and what we can put right.

“We’ll regroup and hopefully we’ll hit the ground running against Carnegie on Saturday week.

“We aren’t where we want to be in the league, nor are we happy with our record of three wins from nine games and we want to get to six and six as quickly as possible and then kick on from there.

“I think any team can beat any other on their day. London Irish are up there but I felt that we gave them a really good game when we played them up here.

“We play three of the other bottom four sides in our next three games and they are all crucial. All of our games are crucial.

“Carnegie have made some good signings in recent weeks.

“They’ve beaten us twice in the Championship Cup and that will obviously give them a psychological advantage.

“We should have beaten them down here but however you choose to spin it they’ve already come here and recorded a win this season.

“We’ve not been as dominant at home as we would have liked this season, but we know any team which comes down here will fear us at some stage in a game.”