Doncaster Knights v Hull Ionians: Let’s end the year on a high - Griffiths

Knights' Mat Clark is stopped against Coventry. Picture: Andrew Roe
Knights' Mat Clark is stopped against Coventry. Picture: Andrew Roe

Clive Griffiths has urged his men not to underestimate bottom side Hull Ionians - and end a difficult year on a high.

Knights were relegated for the first time in their history when they dropped out of the Championship in April.

But they will go into 2014 on top of National One if they maintain their perfect record at Castle Park on Saturday against the league’s basement club.

However, director of rugby Griffiths has warned his injury-hit squad not to take victory for granted.

“We’re not going to take this game lightly,” he said.

“They scored four tries in the second half the other week against Esher.

“They’re quite capable of doing that if you take your feet off the gas, and we saw that at their place.

“They’re down on their luck and we’ll have to start big to open up those wounds that they’ve got at the moment.

“We’ve got to finish the year on a high now and go into 2014 on top of the league.

“Then we can gradually, bit by bit, drip feed the injured players back into the side.”

Doncaster made it eight home wins out of eight on Saturday when they came from 20-5 behind to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Coventry 39-30.

The victory saw Knights move 11 points clear of Coventry, who dropped to sixth in the table as a result.

Winger Dougie Flockhart was the star of the show, scoring a hat trick of tries, as well as kicking four penalties and a conversion.

But Griffiths was also keen to pay tribute to the Castle Park faithful who have stuck by their team despite dropping out of the second tier.

“The home crowd have always been great here,” said Griffiths.

“From the first time I was here, they’re always your 16th man and it was the same on Saturday. We feed off them. They’ve been magnificent.

“It has become a bit of a fortress here,” he added.

“Teams know they’re in for a tough 80 minutes. They have to tackle well for 80 minutes to keep us out.”

Saturday’s game is Knights’ final match of 2013. They return to action on January 4 at Worthing Raiders.