Doncaster Knights v Yorkshire Carnegie: Rivals set for possible play-off dress rehearsal

Ollie Stedman
Ollie Stedman
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Doncaster Knights will be looking to score a psychological victory over derby rivals Yorkshire Carnegie in tomorrow’s televised Championship derby at Castle Park (3pm).

With there being a strong likelihood that the two teams could meet for a second successive season in the Championship play-off semi-finals, Knights boss Clive Griffiths is anxious to avoid Carnegie completing the double over his charges.

Although second best on a cold wet night in November under the Headingley lights, Knights will fancy their chances in the return.

The South Yorkshire side have won five of their last six league games whereas the Leeds-based club have lost their last three. They also crashed out of the B&I Cup last weekend after fielding a much-weakened side in their quarter-final at London Irish, while Knights had to endure another blank weekend.

“It’s been very stop-start for us in recent weeks, which has not been ideal because it doesn’t help maintain momentum when you are missing every other week or so,” said Griffiths.

“Having said that, we’ve been playing some very good rugby when we have played and we’ll be up for tomorrow.

“We know it’s going to be tough because they have a lot of good players and both their forwards and their backs are a threat in attack.”

The game will mark the return of strong-running back-rower Ollie Stedman, one of the stars of last-season’s record-breaking Doncaster squad, to Castle Park as a player.

“We all know what Ollie can do and I’m sure he’ll be looking to show how good he is because that is in his character and that is what I liked about him,” said Griffiths.

“But we also know his weaknesses and we’ll be looking to exploit them.”