Doncaster Knights face stiff exam at Students

Knights weathered the storm against Richmond. Picture: Andrew Roe
Knights weathered the storm against Richmond. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster Knights have not conceded a try in over two hours of action and director of rugby Clive Griffiths expects much of the same when they visit Loughborough Students tomorrow.

Knights bounced back from their first defeat of 2014 at Fylde by beating Richmond 27-9 at the weekend despite conditions that threatened abandonment.

With Rosslyn Park running them very close at the top of SSE National League One, Griffiths knows Doncaster can ill-afford to slip up again anytime soon.

And with a dangerous Loughborough side up next he is hoping to see his side’s recent resilience carry on for at least another 80 minutes.

“Defence wins championships,” said Griffiths.

“In the last 120 minutes of rugby we have not conceded a try and 40 minutes of them have been with 14 men.

“We will need to defend very hard against Loughborough. They are going to play an open brand of rugby

“Fast and furious – I see them playing with no fear. They can be dangerous opponents and we will have to make it tough for them.

“I have been down there before, watching games, and you have got a pitch in the middle of a campus but that is how it is. They will have a couple of hundred people there and we have got to create our own atmosphere.

“We can’t afford to slip up now. Rosslyn Park have got a more comfortable run-in than us and we obviously go head-to-head with them in March.”

Doncaster remain three points clear at the top.

Knights started slowly last Saturday as gale-force winds and rain disrupted Griffiths’ plans in the opening stages.

But the league leaders composed themselves and, despite not making sure of the result until late on, they dotted down twice in the last ten minutes to pick up a bonus point win.

However Griffiths revealed he was never too concerned and he is hoping to take the confidence forward, as Doncaster wait for Rosslyn Park to make a mistake.

“We weathered the storm, literally,” he added.

“There was a catalogue of errors and we were six points down early on.

“After that point we carved out a result and we were delighted.

“I wasn’t really unduly worried. We defended well and we needed to – I don’t think they ever got near our line.”