Doncaster Knights CAN hurt London Irish, insists Clive Griffiths

Full back Paul Jarvis is one player who could unlock the Irish defence.

Full back Paul Jarvis is one player who could unlock the Irish defence.

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Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths has a few tricks up his sleeve which he hopes could help break down the meanest defence in the Championship in Sunday’s play-off semi-final first leg.

London Irish finished the season with by far the best defensive record and conceded just five points in the two games against Doncaster.

But Griffiths is confident the Knights - who have reached the play-offs for a second successive season - have what it takes to rustle the Exiles’ feathers.

“We play to a structure but within that structure there is always room for someone to do something a bit special and we’ve got a number of players who possess those qualities,” said the Welshman.

“We probably created as many chances as them in the league game but we either took a wrong option or we weren’t clinical enough and we know we have to be better in those areas on Sunday.

“We are confident going into the game and we are hoping that the crowd play their part by really getting behind the boys and becoming the 23rd member of the team.

“We know we are going to have to play well to beat them because their record shows that they are a very good team with a lot of very good players.

“They don’t commit a lot of players to the ruck so we know there isn’t going to be a lot of space and they’ll be trying to get in our faces and put pressure on our handling.

“Obviously, we’ll be looking to win the first leg, but as long as we are still in contention going into the second leg then it will be ‘game on’ down at the Madejski Stadium next weekend.

“We know it’s going to be intense because it’s cup-tie rugby. The game will be decided over 160 minutes and it’s important that we focus for every one of those minutes.”