Doncaster Knights: Clive Griffiths reviews training, recruitment and pre-season performances ahead of Rams RFC clash

Doncaster Knights will tackle Reading-based Rams in their final pre-season game at Castle Park on Saturday (2.30pm).

By Steve Hossack
Thursday, 29th August 2019, 11:10 am
Clive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths

Knights go into the game on the back of two big wins on the road and director of rugby Clive Griffiths says the club are looking to make it three in front of their own supporters.

“We’ve played two games in completely different weather conditions and done well in both,” said the Welshman.

“It was torrential rain and a heavy pitch when we played Bridgend and it was brilliant sunshine and red-hot weather in Saturday’s game at Sale.

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“But that has been good because you have to learn to adapt to play in all kinds of weather conditions during the season.”

It will be the first time the two clubs have met and Griffiths is expecting Knights to be tested.

“They won promotion to National League One last season and they’ve made some decent signings during the summer so it looks as though they’ve got some financial backing,” he said.

“They have also shown ambition by approaching us to play them at Castle Park.”

Knights are set to make several changes to their side as they start to focus more on their opening Championship Cup game against Hartpury at Castle Park on September 21.

Strong-running back-rower Ollie Stedman could feature for the first time this season.

“He was close to playing last week,” said Griffiths. “He’s had some full contact sessions this week and we’ll see how he is.”

Reflecting on the 42-14 win at Heywood Road over their National League One hosts, Griffiths said: “We got off to a flying start as we had spoken about in the build-up and came in leading 28-0.

“We made a lot of changes in the second half and used 14 replacements in all, and the changes did have an affect although all the players who came on knew what job they had to do.

“There are always areas in which you could have done better and we bombed two gilt-edged chances.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work in training on our handling and while we want to play an expansive game this season we have to cut out some of the errors which proved costly at times last season such as trying to pass the ball when there is nothing on or throwing out risky long passes.

“We also telegraphed too many passes last season which led to interceptions.

“Steve (Boden) was unhappy with aspects of our mauling and that is something we’ve worked on in training this week.”

Despite feeling that Knights have put together a squad capable of challenging for a top-four spot and better, Griffiths said the recruitment process wasn’t complete and another couple of players could be coming in at some stage.

“We are looking to bring in another centre, or a utility player who can play there,” he said.