Doncaster Knights boss wants reaction after going from 'world class win to Dog and Duck loss’

Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden is expecting to see a “marked reaction” when his side return to Championship action today.

Saturday, 11th December 2021, 9:00 am
Steve Boden. Photo: John Ashton

Their five-match winning run came to a shuddering halt with Sunday’s disappointing 29-7 loss at top-four rivals Cornish Pirates.

Doncaster could have moved up to second with another victory but now know they have to start over when lowly Nottingham visit Castle Park.

Boden – whose side had stunned leaders Ealing Trailfinders the week before – has made eight changes to his starting XV to freshen his squad up and he knows they cannot be as profligate again.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“There was a lot of intent and we knew it would always be tough emotionally to back up what we did against Ealing going down there to Cornish,” he said.

“We put our bodies on the line and our work rate was good but we just didn’t make the most of our opportunities.

“We had about five chances in the first 25 minutes to score – pretty clear chances – and we got one.

“It wasn’t enough. And then our game-management was off.

“It was world-class against Ealing but it was like the Dog and Duck last week.

“We just didn’t manage the game right. We were kicking the ball when going into the wind and, at only 12-7 at half-time, with the wind behind us I don’t think we kicked the ball in the opening 25 minutes of the second period.

“The effort, intent and desire was there which was the main thing and we created opportunities and that was the positive. Hopefully now we’ll get a marked reaction to that this week.”

Second-bottom Nottingham called off their game against Jersey Reds last Friday after suffering four Covid cases but they are able to resume today.

Boden insisted: “They are dangerous as they play with a lot of width and have a lot of pace in the game.

“They will try and move the ball on us. We have to try and nullify that and try and strangle their wide attack but, to be honest, we have to concentrate on ourselves.

“When we do get an opportunity on Saturday – and we will – we have to take it.”