NEW-LOOK Knights have a massive point to prove when they launch Friday night rugby in Doncaster, says a frustrated Brett Davey.
Director of rugby Davey branded Saturday’s error-strewn defeat at Plymouth Albion as the worst display he has witnessed since joining the club in 2009.
The same players must “exorcise their demons” when Knights host a well-fancied Bristol side at Castle Park tonight (7.45pm), an agitated Davey told the Free Press.
Davey said: “The game at Plymouth was the perfect example of how not to win a game of rugby.
“It was our poorest performance in four years.
“There has been a massive amount of frustration around the place this week because we went there with the belief we were in a good position to win the game.
“But in truth we did not even deserve a losing bonus point.
“It was just one error after another.
“You have to give some credit to Plymouth but we just completely blew it.
“The lads have a massive point to prove on Friday night,” he added.
“Bristol come here probably as one of the top three sides in the Championship and they’ll be hurting after losing to Newcastle.
“We’re hurting as well. We have to exorcise our demons and get it right.”
Another summer of upheaval at the Castle saw 19 players depart and 18 new recruits join Doncaster’s ranks for their latest Championship quest.
And Davey accepts it will take time for things to gel - although he was reluctant to use that as an excuse for the 27-22 reverse at Plymouth.
Knights led briefly after a stunning try from Irish full back Michael Keating but the visitors lacked any sort of fluency and were put in their place before Rhys Buckley’s late score earned a losing bonus point.
“One person made an error and then in the next play there would be another error. It just snowballed,” said Davey.
“It will take time for things to come together and there were some players out there that had only played three halves of rugby.
“But we purposefully arranged a tough pre-season in order to hit the ground running.
“It’s an important year for the club this one because we’re trying to stabilise with a view to pushing on next season.
“Some aspects of the performance were pleasing but there are lots of things we need to work on.”