Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights: Knights aim to bounce back against high-flying Blues

Doncaster Knights will be bidding to get back to winning ways in the Championship following successive defeats when tackling Bedford Blues at Goldington Road tomorrow (3pm).

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 5:00 am
Matt Challinor

Knights, who will finalise their side today, are still badly hit by injuries with skipper Michael Hills and wing Curtis Wilson both joining a long list during the Richmond defeat last weekend, although several players are expected to return.

“Whoever plays it is going to be a tough game for us down there because Bedford are the most improved team in the league this season,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

“They had what for them was a bad season last year but they bought well and are a very good side. They should have become the first side to beat Bristol, in a game I watched earlier this year, so we’ve got our hands full.”

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Club captain Matt Challinor says Knights are ready to take up the challenge.

“As a group we want to make a fist of it and we’ll be looking to turn the corner at Bedford despite the fact that they are going well and they have their sights on a top three finish,” he said.

“We aren’t looking to make an excuse for last Saturday’s defeat but we’ve got a lot of quality players out injured and we also had two key men cry-off through illness on the day of the game which didn’t help.

“No matter who you are, any team in this league would have struggled without the calibre of player we were without on Saturday.

“But it’s down to the players who take to the field. We all feel that we are capable so you can’t just blame injuries, you just have to play with the hand you are dealt on the day.

“We had a heart-to-heart in the dressing room after Saturday’s game and we’ve all got to re-group.”

“We can all feel sorry for ourselves and let things fizzle out in the last month of the season or we can make a collective effort and give ourselves a kick up the backside and try and put things right this weekend.

“We are still just outside the top four and everyone is focused on trying to get back in there.

“It’s certainly important that we get some confidence back going into a very tough run of games, including next week’s B&I Cup quarter-final in Jersey, to end the season and we know we need to impose ourselves on the opposition in all our remaining games.”