The heat is on for struggling Doncaster Knights

Vital match: Knights chief Clive Griffiths
Vital match: Knights chief Clive Griffiths

CLIVE Griffiths has turned the heat up on his squad ahead of tonight’s “must-win” clash at home to London Scottish (7.45pm).

A string of handling errors cost Doncaster dearly at Scottish side Melrose in the British & Irish Cup last weekend, meaning Knights have now gone five games without a win in all competitions.

And director of rugby Griffiths has told his players that they must keep their cool this evening as Knights continue to sweat on their Championship status.

Griffiths said: “That ability to shoot ourselves in the foot won’t go away.

“We’ve talked about what happened at Melrose but there’s only so much talking that you can do.

“It’s not any of the coaches, staff or spectators that are out there catching the ball, it’s all down to the players when they’re on the pitch.

“You put your faith in the player who has the ball coming to him and hope he does the right thing.

“Overall, I’ve got to be pleased with the improvement in the side and I do think we’re better off now,” he added.

“There’s so much more intent now than there was and at Melrose we carried on a lot of the good attacking work that we started against Nottingham.

“I’m confident if the lads keep hold of the ball and play that we’re more than good enough to stay in this league.

“They’ve just got to be smart about what they do and not make silly mistakes.”

Knights are confident of beating the freeze and recruited supporters to clear the snow from Castle Park yesterday in a bid to ensure the basement battle goes ahead.

The squad has been forced to train indoors at the Dome this week but Griffiths insists his side are “champing at the bit” ahead of tonight’s vital game.

He said: “You want to be doing your very best work in the build-up to a game like this but we’ve not been able to do that.

“You’re always at the mercy of the weather and you’ve got to live with that.

“We’d still rather get this game played on Friday night because the lads are champing at the bit.

“If not, we’ll be trying our best to get it rearranged for the blank weekend next week.”

Knights go into this evening’s game two points adrift at the bottom of the Championship, but a bonus-point victory would move them to within four points of ninth-placed Scottish and drag them back into the relegation battle.

Will Hafu will return from injury, while Rhys Buckley is back in the squad after serving a suspension.