Doncaster Knights have made a dream start to life back in the Green King IPA Championship.
They recorded a rare win at Headingley on Sunday when beating last season’s play-off semi-finalists Yorkshire Carnegie 32-23 to make it three wins from their first four games back in the second tier of English rugby.
“We rode our luck a bit at times, and they also had a man sent-off in the first half, but I felt we deserved to win the game,” said Knights’ director of rugby Clive Griffiths.
The Welshman, who steered club to the National One title last season, had called for his charges to ‘get back on the horse’ after seeing them do gown 32-16 against relegated Worcester the previous week.
“I didn’t think that we quite had the belief against Worcester, though we always knew it was going to be a tough game,” he said.
“We put in a lot of hard work, both on the training pitch and in analysing Carnegie during the week and it paid off.
“We’ve got to show that if we can keep players healthy then we are going to be competitive, both at home and wherever we go, and battle to the very end.
“We did just that on Sunday, scrambling back to deny them a bonus point try at the very end.”
One of the things which has particularly pleased the Welshman upon the club’s return to the Championship – and was in evidence on Sunday - has been the fact the Knights have shown they have the firepower to trouble the best of defences.
“We’ll keep trying to play and create chances and when we nail every one of them someone is going to get a tuning,” said Griffiths.
“But I don’t mind missing a few chances and I’ll take a 32-23 win every day of the week.
“I told the players to enjoy the moment and have a beer together after the game because I value the old fashioned habit of being together after a game.
“But we were in on Monday and started working towards the visit of Cornish Pirates. We’ve given them the respect they deserve in the build-up this week.”