Hope is at home

THE Knights are hoping home comforts can reignite their bid to advance through the promotion play -off group stages after slipping to a 33-25 defeat in their competition opener at Cornish Pirates.

Boss Lynn Howells admitted his side never looked like winning the clash in the West Country and now insists their hopes lie in two victories from successive home games – starting on Saturday with the visit of local rivals Rotherham Titans.

Doncaster were forced to name assistant head coach-in-waiting Brett Davey on the bench as their injury crisis worsened in the run up to the Cornish trip.

Prop Lewis Thiede and second row Dom Parsons were initially ruled out through illness while their dual-registered Leeds players were unavailable.

But such was the crisis of numbers, Thiede actually played for 48 minutes with Parsons also required to come on as a late replacement.

Despite this, the Knights battled well and were just 16-13 down with 11 minutes left.

But they conceded three tries in a seven minute spell which quashed their hopes.

Doncaster ran in two late tries, but it was too little too late and left them rueing what might have been.

Stand-off Tristan Roberts kicked a penalty but Doncaster were 16-3 behind at half time. However, he added another shortly after play resumed and converted a try from winger Doug Flockhart on the hour mark which brought them back to within three points.

But the Pirates ran in three more tries to extend their lead to 33-13, and left Doncaster with a tough task.

Centre Oli Goss scored on 79 minutes and Roberts converted, and when flanker Latu Makaafi scored a minute later, Roberts could have secured a losing bonus point with the conversion.

But the kick was missed and Doncaster left Cornwall empty handed.

The Titans’ visit to Castle Park kicks off at 2.30pm on Saturday.