Doncaster Knights: Nottingham defeat ‘a missed opportunity’
Below par Doncaster Knights missed a trick against Nottingham, according to director of rugby Clive Griffiths.
Knights went down 23-25 to the Green & Whites in front of a bigger crowd than normal at Castle Park.
“We showed character and spirit to come back from 17-3 but those qualities aren’t always enough to win you games. We are a better team than that,” said Griffiths.
“We had an above-average crowd and with the conditions as they were we had a perfect opportunity to impress people and encourage them to come back again.
“I’m sure that some people watching the game will have thought at times ‘what have the players been working on all week?’
“Yet our preparations had been meticulous. We’d identified wing David Williams, their centres and back-rowers as their main dangers as well as their weaknesses.
“Unfortunately, we had no answer to the players we highlighted and we didn’t exploit their weaknesses.”
He added: “We knew that they were a good side but they came here having lost all five games in 2019 and probably a bit low in confidence but we gave them a leg up with how we defended at times in the first half.
“I told the players at half time to remember the processes that we had put in place during the week and listen the coaches’ input and we might actually get out of the hole we’ve dug for ourselves and we might win the game – which we would have done had Sam Olver’s kick gone over.”
Although the defeat cost Knights a top-six spot for the first time since early season, with other results going their way the losing bonus point they picked up saw them climb a place to eighth in the Championship table.