In-form Rhys wants Doncaster Knights improvement

Disappointed: Knights star Rhys Buckley.             Picture: dean atkins
Disappointed: Knights star Rhys Buckley. Picture: dean atkins

DONCASTER Knights hooker Rhys Buckley has shown that he knows where the line is in recent games.

The Welshman scored for the second successive home game in Saturday’s 30-29 British & Irish Cup Pool 8 defeat against Llandovery.

Like his team-mates, Buckley was disappointed with the result and the fact that Knights now face an uphill battle to make the knock-out stages.

“We beat them down there the week before and we should have beaten them on Saturday,” he told The Star. “We are a much better team than them both on paper and on the pitch.

“There wasn’t any complacency and we knew that they were going to come up here and have a right go after losing at home.

“From my experience of playing Welsh teams, and being Welsh myself, I knew that would want revenge playing an English side. We just let ourselves down again.”

It is not the first time that Knights have lost a match-winning lead in the dying minutes of a game this season.

“There are probably several factors but one is confidence,” said Buckley. “We need to finish games better than we have been doing.

“Our game-management needs to be better. It’s often a fine line as to whether to try and push on and try and score another try when you are leading midway through the second half, or just defend the lead.”

Despite the fact that Knights have been in the bottom two for most of the season, Buckley claimed: “The spirit has remained good because we know that we aren’t a bottom-of-the-table side.”

He also says he has no regrets at moving up to Castle Park from Newport-Gwent Dragons.

“I spent a lot of time on the bench last season because there was a Welsh international in front of me,” he said. “I come here to play games and that’s what I’ve been doing. We are a good team and we’ve got some good players but we aren’t clicking on a regular basis at the moment.”

Knights worst ever start to a league campaign resulted in Clive Griffiths being drafted in as the club’s new team boss last month.

“There wasn’t a lot wrong as we showed when we played Bedford and only lost in the 10th minute of stoppage time,” he said. “Clive has come in and whilst only tinkering with things as against making wholesale changes he has brought in some new structures which will help results improve starting with Bristol on Sunday in our last game of the year.

“I’ve never played at Bristol, even though it’s only about a 10 minute drive from where I live, so I’m looking forward to the game.

“We ran them close at home earlier in the season so I’m confident that we can get a result.”