Doncaster Knights: Clive Griffiths says comeback was too little, too late

Doncaster Knights literally threw away what would have been an unlikely victory in the circumstances on their first ever visit to Championship newcomers Ampthill.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 3:59 pm
Greene King IPA Championship. Doncaster Knights v Richmond. Clive Griffiths Director of Rugby at the Doncaster Knights. 26th January 2019.

Not even director of rugby Clive Griffiths, who has seen many strange results during his long career, fancied Knights to come back from a 30-14 deficit with less than ten minutes to go.

“I thought we could possibly score two late tries to give us two bonus points and that would have been better than nothing at that stage but I never realistically thought that we could score three and win it,” he said.

“We got it back to 30-26 and we had a five-metre lineout against a side who were buckling and in danger of conceding a penalty try.

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“You couldn’t hope for better circumstances to try and win a match – which I’m sure we would have done had we won the lineout - but they intercepted the throw and booted the ball clear and that was it.

“As I say, two points was better than nothing and it takes us two points further away from bottom club Yorkshire Carnegie, but it was scant consolation from a game we had targeted to win.

“I can only apologise again to the sizeable following.

“We were poor in the first half but the try just before half-time gave us a boost and we came out strongly in the second half and scored a great try to close the gap to 16-14.

“They made it 23-14 with a converted try which should have been disallowed for a forward pass and scored again.”

Knights lost wing Howard Packman and No 8 Ollie Stedman in the first half.

Howard suffered a rib cartilage injury and he’ll be out for three or four weeks,” said Griffiths. “Fortunately, wing is one of the positions where we are well covered and Kyle Evans came on and played well and scored his first try for the club.

“We’ll have to wait for the results of the scan before we know the extent of Ollie’s ankle injury. He cried out when he went down so was obviously in pain. On a happier note, Jack Roberts got a longer run out than against Nottingham and did well and scored a try. I’m delighted for Jack because he’s had it tough and I just hope that he can enjoy an injury-free spell.”