Ready for war

DONCASTER Knights director of rugby Brett Davey has labelled his side’s trip to local rivals Rotherham Titans as ‘the biggest game of the season.’

The Titans sit just above the Knights in fifth place in the Championship but Davey said there will be a ‘one-off’ feel to Saturday’s match at Clifton Lane.

He said: “This is our biggest game of the season because of what it means.

“It’s a different kind of game to everything else, it’s almost like a cup final.

“The form book goes out of the window and it all comes down to that day.

“It is a game the supporters are desperate to win and so are we.

“Rotherham have done remarkably well this season and it’ll be a tough test.

“There will be no surprises with Rotherham because we know what they’re all about.

“They’ve got a huge pack of forwards, big ball carriers and they work incredibly hard so we know it’s going to be physical.

“But we like to play a physical game too so we know it’s going to be a tough game.

Davey offered the chance for players to seize a starting place at Rotherham if they put in a good performance in last Friday’s British and Irish Cup tie at Pro12 League side Ulster.

And while the Knights slipped to a 39-7 defeat, Davey was pleased with the performance of several of his players.

He said: “I though Andy Boyde and Andy Brown had very good games and Jack Yeandle did well too in difficult circumstances.

“We played against probably their perfect side because there was 11 lads out their with Magners League experience for them while we’ve taken the decision to prioritise the league.

“But I was pleased with what the lads did because we were looking down the barrel of a real heavy defeat at one point and we worked hard.

The Titans had better luck in the B&I Cup as they picked up a narrow 13-6 win at Swansea.

But head coach Andre Bester’s main priority remains qualification for the Championship promotion play offs.

He said: “We first need to make sure we qualify for the play-off’s and get ourselves into a good position and then really try hard to give the young players the opportunity to gain experience and get better.

“In terms of the Championship everything is important to us and our first goal is to get to 50 points.

“Then if we get to 50 points we can start rotating and it’s absolutely critical that we start rotating the squad.

“We need another 18 points to get there and we need to get there as soon as possible.

“Our focus now is on Doncaster.”