DONCASTER Knights slumped to their third successive Championship defeat as London Welsh completed the double over them in yesterday afternoon’s rearranged match at Old Deer Park,
Fourth-placed Welsh, who recorded a 21-10 win at Castle Park on Bonfire Night, claimed a 37-14 victory in the return fixture.
“Without wishing to make excuses, it was our third game in eight days and it took its toll and there were a lot of tired bodies out there,” said Knights boss Brett Davey.
“We worked really hard for 50 minutes and then we started to look really tired.”
Davey gave a starting debut to scrum-half Michael Heaney in a new-look half-back pairing with young fly-half Gareth Quinn-McDonogh, who made his starting debut in last Saturday’s derby defeat against Rotherham at Castle Park.
“It was difficult for them because they were on the back foot for most of the game due to the fact that London Welsh, who we normally never struggle against in that part of the game, were on top in the forwards,” said Davey.
“Michael showed some nice touches so there are things to work on. It was the same with Gareth until we took him off early in the second half because he’d played a full game on Saturday and we are just trying to look after him a little bit.
“It was disappointing but we’ve got to take it on the chin and just try and get ready for our last league game of the season at Bristol on Friday night.”
The Welshman will be checking on several players who picked up bumps and bruises in yesterday’s encounter at today’s light training session before finalising his squad to travel down to the Memorial Stadium tomorrow morning.
But he will again be without utility back Toby Berridge. Recent signing Berridge had been set to make his debut for the Knights in yesterday’s game, but Davey had to draft Ben Toft in at full-back after he pulled a hamstring in training on Tuesday afternoon.