Sport Matters: Clash of the codes - let’s get it on

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Brett Davey. Picture: Liz Mockler D9995LM
Doncaster Knights director of rugby Brett Davey. Picture: Liz Mockler D9995LM

THERE does not seem to be much love lost between Doncaster RLFC and Doncaster Knights.

At least that is the impression I got from both sets of supporters when I dared to suggest a possible ground share on Twitter.

Dons' coach Tony Miller in the stands. Picture: Andrew Roe

Dons' coach Tony Miller in the stands. Picture: Andrew Roe

The idea of a single home for the town’s flagship rugby sides has been mooted for a while, mainly due to the Dons’ poor attendances at the Keepmoat.

It could become a reality if Tony Miller’s men do not claim one of the four promotion places up for grabs in this year’s Co-operative Championship One - although I expect them to be challenging for the title, not just the top four.

It could, however, also meet with a very frosty response from the paying customers.

“We don’t want the Dons at Castle Park,” was one response I got from a Knights fan who shall remain nameless.

Doncaster Rugby League Football Club logo

Doncaster Rugby League Football Club logo

The reply hinted that the two clubs should remain at a safe distance from each other, in more ways than one!

It would seem the huge class divide between union and league still prevails in Doncaster.

So it got me thinking about who would come out on top if the Knights and Dons locked horns for a one-off match?

If there is indeed any bad blood, it could be one heck of a spectacle.

They could play one half union, one half league, toss a coin to decide which one first, and then let the battle for bragging rights commence.

People from behind the scenes at both clubs are probably reading this now and thinking what a ridiculous idea.

They are probably thinking I should stick to the sports I was brought up on in the North East - a staple diet of football and cricket.

But for me the suggestion has more pros than cons, although admittedly the event might be difficult to schedule given the two club’s overlapping calendars.

It would not be the first game of its kind.

Wigan Warriors and Bath, the two biggest names in each brand, did battle in 1996.

And it was announced in November that Saracens would take on Wigan in another cross-code match, as a result of England international Joel Tomkins switching codes to join Saracens.

If marketed correctly, the ‘Clash of the Codes’ could generate some serious interest in Doncaster’s rugby teams - something which sadly seems to be seriously lacking.

And it would be more than just a one-off publicity stunt, it could bridge some useful bridges between the clubs.

I am absolutely certain the loyal fans of both sides would be more than a little curious about the concept.

And the novelty factor might just pull in a few new faces on the terraces - something both clubs are working very hard to achieve.

The main beneficiary could be a local charity.

Knights’ very own Lee Audis remains in a critical condition in hospital after a car crash last month - I cannot think of a more worthwhile cause.

And you never know, the occasion might just bring the clubs, and the communities they encompass, closer together.

That might not be a bad thing at all - because it’s possible the Knights and Dons could be getting a lot cosier in years to come.

Now then, any more takers for that ground share idea?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email paul.goodwin@doncastertoday.co.uk or write to Sportsdesk, Doncaster Free Press, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, DN1 1NB.