Leinster A v Doncaster Knights: Do-or-die for Knights' B&I Cup hopes

It's do-or-die for Doncaster Knights tomorrow in their bid to reach the knockout stages of the B&I Cup.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 05:00 am
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 09:35 am
Clive Griffiths

Knights go into their final Pool 2 game at unbeaten Leinster A battling it out with three other second-placed teams for the three runners-up spots up for grabs.

Knights, who have 17 points, are currently the best second-placed club on points difference from Pool 1 side Munster A, but both Yorkshire Carnegie (14) and Cornish Pirates(14) can still pip them.

“If we win then we will finish in the top eight but we’ve got by far the toughest game at Leinster,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths, whose best hope of a favourable result in the other key ties would look to be Carnegie’s home game against unbeaten leaders Jersey.

“As a professional province club Leinster are one of the best sides in Europe and they have massive strength in depth so we are going to have play well to get anything from the game.

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“We will certainly have to play better than we did when they beat us at home 41-17 back in October. We were poor defensively that day and they will pile up the points against us again unless we defend better.”

Knights, who will fly out to the Irish Republic on a charter flight on the day of the game, will lack a number of regulars and several others will face late fitness tests at today’s captain’s run at Castle Park.

Utility-back Charlie Foley and hooker David Nelson joined the likes of Will Owen, Lloyd Hayes, Dougie Flockhart, Nick Civetta and Colin Quigley on the sidelines, after both picked up knocks in the Bristol game.

Mat Clark, who also picked up a knock at the weekend, was a doubt in midweek as was Andy Bulumakau.

Wing Curtis Wilson and second-rower Morgan Eames were both sent home from training on Tuesday after feeling unwell.

Better news for Knights is that both second-rower Matt Challinor and fly-half Simon Humberstone have recovered from the chest infections which ruled them out at the weekend.

Young Sale hooker Curtis Langdon is also available.