Doncaster Knights in scrap for Championship survival

Clive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths

Doncaster Knights are in a scrap for Championship survival as they prepare to face Yorkshire Carnegie in a crucial derby clash on Saturday (2.30pm).

Clive Griffiths’ men have lost nine consecutive league games and are now just three points better off than basement club Plymouth Albion going into Round 14.

Knights’ last league win came against Carnegie at Headingley in September.

Struggling Plymouth announced last week that they had successfully avoided going into administration after receiving a cash injection of £250,000 from local businesses.

Had Albion gone into administration they would have incurred a 20-point penalty which would almost certainly have condemned the club to relegation to National One - and saved Knights.

However, clearly galvanised by developments off the field, Plymouth rallied to record a bonus point win against Rotherham Titans last weekend and close the gap between themselves and Doncaster to just three points.

Director of rugby Griffiths has targeted a minimum of two more wins to stave off an instant return to National One - and Saturday’s derby against fourth bottom Carnegie is likely to be a fixture he has pinpointed a maximum points haul.

Knights face a difficult run of games, including trips to Cornish Pirates and London Scottish, and a home game against title challengers Bristol, over the next few weeks.

The last game of the season sees Doncaster travel to Plymouth.

Meanwhile, Doncaster have been given a big home advantage incentive in the British & Irish Cup.

Knights will host the final at Castle Park - if they can get past Bristol in the semi-finals, a tie which will also be played on home soil.

Doncaster’s impressive cup form has seen them reach the last four of the cross border competition for the first time since 2010.

Worcester Warriors are at home to Leinster A in the other semi-final. The semi-finals will take place over the weekend of March 13-15.