Doncaster Knights: Teams are now showing us more respect - Ben Hunter

Doncaster Knights' Ben Hunter in action against London Scottish at Castle Park.
Doncaster Knights' Ben Hunter in action against London Scottish at Castle Park.

Losing four successive league games has proven to be something of a new experience for hooker Ben Hunter since moving to Castle Park.

Despite spending several months on the sidelines with a broken arm, the 26-year-old helped Knights claim last season’s National One title in his first season as a full-time professional.

“There was a lot of pressure to come straight back up but we did it and lost just a handful of games,” he said.

“Everybody raised their performance when they played us and there were no easy games. I’m sure the intensity helped us start well this season and that is something every promoted club wants to do.

“There is always a lot of talk about how hard it is for promoted clubs to stay up but we want to change all that.

“We are a team of grafters who want to work hard for each other and hopefully we can grind out enough wins to finish well clear of the bottom.

“I know a lot of people would probably expect us to be happy to finish second bottom but we want to do better than that. We want to finish in the top half of the table.

“As I say, we made a great start and were up in fourth place but we’ve tailed off for some reason.

“We’ve shown we can play well but I think we’ve probably got to become more consistent, week in, week out.”

Knights have certainly struggled to reproduce the attacking rugby they served up earlier in the season in recent games.

Hunter believes part of the reason could be opponents giving them more respect.

“I think a lot of teams view a side who have come up as a potential easy win, but we’ve shown that when play for the 80 minutes we can match anyone.

“Teams have probably started showing us more respect. That means we need to raise our game to another level.

“We’ve got to get back to winning ways at Bedford.

“We’ve won all three B&I Cup games to date and a couple more wins would mean we’d go to Nottingham in our final league game of the year in good spirits.”