Doncaster Knights aiming for 'huge scalp' at Newcastle Falcons

Doncaster Knights travel to relegated Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park for their second Championship Cup Pool 2 game this weekend.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 7:03 am
Francis Cummins

Both sides got off the mark at the first time of asking last weekend with Knights beating visiting Hartpury 42-22 at Castle Park and Falcons beating Jersey 21-8.

“We’ve no fear about playing them up there, even though we know where they’ve come from,” says backs and skills coach Francis Cummins.

“But we all know that we have got to be on the mark and produce the sort of form we’ve been showing in training because when you are playing against people who have played at Premiership level you’ll get punished if you don’t.

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Doncaster Knights v Hartpury University. Doncaster's Sam Olver, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-21-09-19-KnightsvHartpury-6

“We’ll just have to learn from the Hartpury game and try and build on the good things we did and try and take our performance to another level.

“You want to start the season well and it would be a massive boost where we to go up there and get a huge scalp like Newcastle.”

The former Leeds Rhinos winger returned for a second spell at the South Yorkshire club during the summer, following Paul Cooke’s departure.

“It helped me settle in quickly having been here before and having worked with a number of the players,” said Cummins, sacked by cash-strapped Widnes Vikings after failing to keep them in rugby league’s Super League in 2018 after stepping up from assistant coach midway through the campaign.

Despite losing his job at Widnes, Cummins remains a respected figure in the 13-a-side code and he is hoping to establish a similar reputation in rugby union where an increasing number of former Super League stars are now employed as coaches.

Although pleased to see Knights pick up a bonus-point win against Hartpury, Cummins says there is much more to come.

“The team are training at a much higher level than the last times I was here and we’ve developed some nice bits of passing which we didn’t really get chance to show how the game went,” he said.

“Although we scored some nice tries I don’t think we ever really found our rhythm in attack.”