Doncaster Knights achieve '˜landmark' play-off place
Clive Griffiths has challenged his Doncaster Knights squad to finish the regular Championship season in no lower than second place.
Knights guaranteed their play-off spot with victory at London Scottish last weekend.
This Sunday they turn their attention to the British & Irish Cup with a quarter-final clash at Cornish Pirates.
But Griffiths - who could not resist a little dig at the pundits who predicted Doncaster would struggle this season - is likely to prioritise a strong finish to the league campaign ahead of the Castle Park club’s first tilt at the promotion play-offs in their current four-team format.
“It was our main target this season so it’s rewarding that all the hard work put in by everyone, especially the players, has paid off and we’ve ticked that particular box,” said Griffiths, reflecting on his side’s guaranteed top four finish.
“It’s another landmark for the club, following on from reaching last season’s British & Irish Cup final.
“Hopefully we can hang on to second place and challenge Bristol for top spot in the unlikely event of them slipping up in the run-in.”
He added: “A lot of pundits were predicting that we’d finish in the bottom three this year so it just shows how much they know.”
Knights currently sit second in the table, nine points ahead of third-placed Bedford Blues with four games remaining. They trail leaders Bristol by ten points.
The teams that finish first and second will be able to choose whether to play at home or away first in the two-legged play-off semi-finals at the end of April and beginning of May against the teams finishing fourth and third respectively.
Knights previously reached the play-offs in 2010 after finishing seventh but were soundly betean by Bristol.