Doncaster Knights: Griffiths wants Knights to be better on the ball

Doncaster Knights are ramping up their preparations ahead of the new Championship season.
Doncaster Knights are ramping up their preparations ahead of the new Championship season.

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths wants his team to be better with the ball this season.

Newly-promoted Knights will ramp up their pre-season preparations when they welcome Swansea to Castle Park on Saturday (3pm).

Griffiths was encouraged by what he saw in last weekend’s pre-season opener at Welsh Premiership outfit Neath, which ended 15-15. Tyson Lewis and Will Foden were on the trysheet for Doncaster.

But the Welshman has identified several areas for improvement ahead of the new Championship season - and being better with the ball in hand is at the top of his wish list.

“I am looking for an improved performance with the ball this year and there are number of things that we have highlighted to work on ahead of Saturday,” said Griffiths, following last weekend’s draw.

“The game [with Neath] provided us with plenty to think about and a mixed bag of positives and things to work on.

“The set piece was rock solid and our catch and drive line out looked really strong.

“Our defence was good apart from a couple of early blips but on the occasions they broke our first line I thought our scramble defence was excellent, highlighted by the fact they didn’t’ score against us.

“We generated plenty of good momentum and phase play at times, Tyson’s [Lewis] try came after eleven well-worked phases.

Griffiths has confirmed that Michael Hills has taken over the on-field captaincy from Matt Challinor.

“Chall has had two extremely challenging seasons; one fighting a relegation battle in the Championship then another winning National One,” said Griffiths.

“He has led by example but we feel that this year Matt will be free to play at his destructive best without the concern of the very difficult on field decisions he has had to make over the course of the last two seasons.

“Matt Challinor is an iconic figure here at the club and he will now take on the role of club captain, which is an extremely important role.

“Michael and Matt will work alongside one another and push the club forward this season. They’re both very much Donny through and through.”