High-flying Bristol’s trip to Castle Park is likely to prove a more daunting prospect than looked to be the case at the start of the month.
Back-to-back Championship wins have given weight to Doncaster Knights’ argument that they are a much better side than their record suggested.
Sunday’s 30-13 win at Cornish Pirates will have done much to convince Knights’ supporters that the club have finally turned the corner in the league.
But victory over big-spending Bristol would send out an even more defiant message to Championship rivals.
“Personally I think we’ve been playing well and playing some good rugby but we’ve not been getting the rub of the green,” said prop Colin Quigley.
“We’ve also been our own worst enemy at times, giving away penalties and making mistakes at crucial times and having players sin-binned.
“It’s obviously going to be a big game against Bristol. They’ve got a lot of players who have played at international level and they’ll bring a big crowd with them.
“It’s going to be a battle up front but it is one that we are looking for ward to.”
Second-placed Bristol will be looking to complete the double over Knights after posting a 24-12 win against them at Ashton Gate on a wet November evening.
“We felt as though we were robbed a little bit down there,” said Quigley, reflecting on a game which saw Knights lead 12-10 at the break.
“We played well but we didn’t convert pressure into points.”
Having seen leaders Worcester effectively win the game at Castle Park in the first quarter, Quigley underlines the need for Knights to be battle-ready from the off.
“We’ve got to be switched on and concentrating straight from the kick-off,” he said.
“At this level if you don’t play for the first 15 minutes or so, or give teams a leg-up, generally speaking you never get back into the game.
“To be fair we haven’t started slowly at home in any of our other games and that has often caught teams out, particularly in the British & Irish Cup.”