Doncaster RLFC: Aussie Matt Groat enjoying life with the Dons

Matt Groat
Matt Groat

Australian prop Matt Groat has yet to finish on the winning side since making his debut back in April but he has no regrets about linking up with the struggling Dons.

The former NRL star joined the club in April.

“Everyone has been very welcoming and living with the boys (Pasqualle Dunn and Mitch Clark) has been good,” he said.

“I’m also enjoying my footie and I just hope that I can keep injury-free for the rest of the season and help the club to stay up.”

The Dons swooped to land the strong-running 23 year-old, who boasts experience with West Tigers back home, after his proposed move to big-spending Super League Salford fell through.

Groat suffered an ankle injury on his debut, where he showed up well in one of the club’s best performances of the season, but has made up for lost time on his return.

Along with New Zealander Clark, Groat was one of the stars of the spirited showings against Hunslet at the inaugural Summer Bash at Blackpool and Dewsbury, where he still maintains he scored a late match-winning try.

Like everyone connected with the club, Groat was disappointed with the size of the defeat in the return against Bradford at the weekend.

“Without wishing to make excuses we lost both Pas and James Cunningham at half time and it didn’t help either that I was sin-binned,” he said.

The game marked new head coach Gary Thornton’s first game in charge and Groat was quick to distance him from any blame.

“He only had a couple of sessions to work with the squad but he was very professional in what he did and I think you could see that we had more structure in the first half,” he said.

Groat’s plans for next season are very fluent and is currently adopting a ‘wait-and-see-what-happens’ philosophy.

In the meantime he is concentrating all his efforts on trying to bring about the elusive first win which everyone hopes would provide a springboard for other wins.

Groat acknowledges that the prospects of survival are diminishing by the week, but says that while the players retain their spirit and belief it is not a lost cause.

“I rate every single one of our players so you never know what is going to happen,” he said.

“We've just got to take it one game at a time and see what happens and where that takes us.”