Doncaster Knights ‘have nothing to fear in play-offs’

Mat Clark

Mat Clark

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Doncaster Knights will find themselves in unchartered territory in Sunday's Championship promotion play-off semi-final first leg against Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley.

But in-form centre Mat Clark, who lists Carnegie as one of his former clubs, claims the Castle Park outfit are there on merit and have nothing to fear.

“Our success this season might have surprised some people in the game but not ourselves,” said the 26 year-old.

“As a group of players we always had a goal of getting into the play-offs.

“We knew the quality we had in the side at the start of the season, having made some good signings and retained a core group of players from last season who trusted each other.

“It just shows that a lot of hard work and making the right decisions can take you from being a bottom four side to a top four side.

“Finishing second in the Championship is a great achievement and certainly one I will remember and big raps to all the boys and the coaching staff and everyone involved really.”

Clark’s partnership with Will Hurrell has been a feature of the club’s back division.

“Will’s a cracking player. He’s a big strong boy and it’s always good when you can trust the person inside of you,” said Clark.

“Both half-backs have also played well. They’ve both had plenty of experience and know how to play the game.”

Looking ahead to Sunday, Clark said: “It’s a ‘gloves off’ situation isn’t it? Making the play-offs is special for everyone but we don’t want it to end there. We want to keep the band-waggon rolling.

“Obviously they are a good side and we know it will be a challenge. We certainly think we can beat them though.

“No 8 Ryan Burrows is pivotal for them. He’s a big carrier of the ball and also scores a lot of tries.

“Scrum-half Chris Pilgrim likes to control the tempo and fly-half Kevin Sinfield boasts a lot of big-match experience from his rugby league days.”