Doncaster Knights show up well despite big defeat

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DONCASTER Knights’ boss Brett Davey felt the club’s battling display in their 54-9 defeat at Premiership giants Gloucester justified taking on such a tough fixture in their final warm-up game.

“It was never about the result,” said the Welshman. “It was more about seeing how we could adapt in an environment when we were up against it.

“We got a lot out of the game and we acquitted ourselves well in the first half when we fielded the stronger of our two sides.

“We led 9-7 after 25 minutes and we were only 14-9 down going into first half injury-time, during which they scored again to make it 21-9.

“They scored 19 points in the last 12 minutes or so of the second half which gave the final score line a flattering look.

“We’ve looked to make a step forward in each of our pre-season games and I thought that we got that on Saturday.

“We made them work for most of their tries and I thought our set piece went very well. Our lineout functioned pretty well and we scrummaged pretty well.

“Obviously the scrums suffered towards the tail end of the second half because we had a 21 year-old and a 20 year-old in our front-row, but it will have been a good learning experience for them.

“We know where we are and we know we’ve got a good group of players the majority of whom have shown that they are capable of playing Championship rugby and know we’ve a few who need to be worked on.”

Knights welcomed back last season’s captain Chris Hallam after a knee problem.

“Chris played 40 minutes and considering that he hadn’t played since last April he did very well,” said Davey.