Doncaster Knights: ‘We can find a way to beat Trailfinders’, insists Clive Griffiths
Doncaster Knights return to the scene of their heaviest Championship defeat in recent seasons this weekend when they take on second-placed Ealing Trailfinders at Vallis Way.
Knights, who lost 57-14, were well beaten on the day.
However, director of rugby Clive Griffiths argued there were extenuating circumstances.
“Because of injuries I had to bring in a player on loan from a National One club and (prop) Colin Quigley was on the bench but was never going to come on unless we went down to fourteen men,” he said.
Having suffered their heaviest defeat of the season against the side which finished runners-up to promoted Bristol, Knights also recorded their biggest home win of the season when beating them 50-19 in the return last April.
“We hammered them,” enthused Griffiths.
Having already won with something to spare at Castle Park earlier in the season, Ealing will start favourites to complete a double but Knights will not lack confidence having won their last three league games.
“We know it’s going to be tough as you would expect given their massive budget,” said Griffiths.
“They have a huge pack which is as big as any in the Premiership, good half-backs and a threat out wide.
“But I honestly feel that we can beat them if we play to our best.
“Whereas they played at the weekend in the quarter-finals of the Championship Cup we’ll be going there fresh.
“I know most teams on a roll can’t wait for the next game but we were pleased to have last weekend off,” he added.
“A lot of players had been carrying knocks so we decided to give the squad last week off and they didn’t come back in again until Monday.”
Knights will lack influential second-rower Nick Civetta, who will be out for the rest of the month due to international commitments.
Knights will also be without Ealing fly-half Sam Olver, who has been influential in all three wins since the turn of the year, but Tongan international Kurt Morath is set to return after injury.