Doncaster Knights: Esher won’t lack motivation - Griffiths

Bevon Armitage breaks forward against Blaydon.
Bevon Armitage breaks forward against Blaydon.

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths expects Esher to not lack any motivation when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Knights preserved their lead at the top of SSE National League One last weekend with a hard earned 24-19 win against Blaydon. A trip to Esher is up next.

The hosts began the season with promotion aspirations but have slipped behind the runaway top two – Doncaster and Rosslyn Park – in recent weeks.

With promotion looking unlikely, Esher have little to aim for in the league but Griffiths is expecting the hosts to throw everything at his side.

“Esher are a different animal at home,” he said.

“We have got a big target on our chests anywhere we go – we have said it all season.

“They will come over the top with six bayonets for sure.

“Against Doncaster everyone is motivated. We have found that all year, even though some teams have nothing to play for.

“I would be doing the same, saying ‘let’s spoil the party, boys’. They have got plenty to play for.

“The games that we have lost, some of them we have thrown away,” he added.

“We have done it the hard way and I just hope we can do it the easy way from here on in.

“I am enjoying the challenge being up there at the end of the season – it is fantastic.”

Knights are currently eight points clear at the top of the table with just six games of the league season remaining.

They still have to travel to second-placed Rosslyn Park for what could be a potential title decider.

Saturday’s win over Blaydon was a nervier affair than Griffiths had hoped, after Doncaster racked up four tries – through Mat Clark, Michael Hills, Chris Walker and Dougie Flockhart – and a bonus point inside 50 minutes.

However, Blaydon gave the league leaders a late scare and, with Doncaster down to 14 men late on, came within one try of pinching an unlikely win.

Griffiths was disappointed to see his side’s levels drop so dramatically – though yet another sin bin had him tearing his hair out.

“We lost the plot,” he added.

“We were 19-0 up and we lost the plot in terms of game management – but we won in the end.

“Getting the bonus points shortly after half time was a plus but then we should have kicked on from there.

“We have been on the wrong end of some contentious decisions at the breakdown and some sin bins.

“We are quite used to having a sin bin strategy because we have had 22 of them, I think, in the whole season. But we have got to look inwardly as well.”

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