Crunch weekend for Doncaster’s sports stars

Jamie McDonnell

Jamie McDonnell

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This weekend is a huge one for Doncaster sport and it is crunch time for those chasing glory.

Doncaster Knights begin their campaign in the Greene King Championship, looking for a push towards the right end of the table.

Clive Griffiths

Clive Griffiths

Jamie McDonnell is back in Texas to defend his WBA bantamweight title against Tomoki Kameda for the second time.

And Doncaster Rovers Belles are out to take a major step towards the FAWSL2 title as they travel to second place Reading with the opportunity to go five points clear at the top.

The Knights have been handed a tough start to the new season as they host relegated London Welsh at Castle Park.

But director of rugby Clive Griffiths thinks it is a good time to play Welsh as they try to adapt to the new level.

Glen Harris

Glen Harris

And Griffiths is confident his side can hold their own this season. He said: “We were favourites to go straight back down last season, just as people said we wouldn’t bounce straight back up the previous season, so we’ve defied the pundits for the last couple of years. Hatfield bantamweight McDonnell is in bullish mood as he prepares to lock horns with Japanese sensation Kameda again in Corpus Christi.

McDonnell earned a narrow points victory over Kameda in May but is predicting a shorter night’s work in the rematch.

“I started too slowly last time and I don’t want that to happen again,” he said. “I believe I will stop him late. I took him into the trenches last time but I didn’t put it on him enough.

“I think I will make a big statement.”

Belles boss Glen Harris says the pressure is all on title rivals Reading this weekend as they look to close the gap his side have opened up.

But he will be well aware of the threat the Royals pose after their 3-0 win over the Belles in May.

He said: “The pressure is on Reading, we’re up top they’ve got to come out and do something.

“The pressure is all on Reading now.”