Doncaster Knights: Clive Griffiths reacts to derby defeat at Yorkshire Carnegie

Clive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths

There are unlikely to be too many harsh words from the Doncaster Knights coaching team when the players report back for training today ahead of Saturday’s home game against Nottingham.

Although disappointed to see previously unbeaten Knights go down 15-9 against Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley on Sunday, director of rugby Clive Griffiths didn’t look to tear into his charges when reflecting on the game yesterday.

“It was obviously an opportunity missed to record a third successive win and we could have done it had (prop) Joe Sprotson not had a try in the corner in the last minute disallowed by the officials,” he said.

“Joe is adamant that he got the ball down and even some of their players and (CEO) Gary Hetherington said the same.

“I know Declan Cusack would have had to kick the conversion from touch (to win us the game) and there would have been a lot of pressure on him but he’s done it before.”

He added: “As I say, we could have won the game at the end – as I thought we would do when we led 9-3 early in the second half - and I feel as though I’ve had my pockets picked.

“I couldn’t fault the players.

“We played with great intent again and they certainly put a shift in.

“We had a 94 per cent completion rate in defence and they only opened us up once on the open side.”

The Welshman admitted the team’s attacking statistics didn’t make nearly as good reading but said there were extenuating circumstances.

“It hammered it down before the game and the rain that fell during it made it difficult to handle the ball.

“There were a lot of handling errors which didn’t help when it came to trying to build some momentum in attack.

“We also made some individual errors.”