Doncaster Knights hoping to avoid Boxing Day slip up at bottom side London Scottish

Doncaster Knights travel to Championship bottom side London Scottish on Boxing Day (3pm).

Friday, 24th December 2021, 10:42 am
Doncaster Knights in action against London Scottish at Castle Park. Photo: John Ashton

Steve Boden’s men are fourth in the table but victory on Sunday could see them move up to second depending on results elsewhere.

About the opposition

London Scottish are members of both the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Scottish Rugby Union, although they play under the RFU in England.

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They made their only appearance in the English Premiership in 1998-99. They finished 12th out of 14 teams and so were not due to be relegated, however they fell into administration.

Scottish might not play in the Championship next season dependent on an RFU review of the league structure. They have received an invitation from the Scottish Rugby Union to join an expanded Super6 competition.

Head to head

A strong second half performance saw Knights win the reverse fixture 36-7 at Castle Park in September.

The Scottish exiles elected not to compete in the Covid-shortened 2020/21 season.

Knights fly half Sam Olver stepped up in the last minute to seal a 15-13 win in February 2020.

In March 2018 the Knights recorded a seven point win, 28-21.

Again, the game was won in the final few minutes. This time a drop goal from Scottish was charged down before the Knights powered over for the match-winning try on the counter attack.

Last time out

Knights ran out 31-9 winners against Coventry to avenge their defeat at Butts Park Arena on the opening day of the season.

Scottish went down 31-13 at third-placed Jersey Reds.

After a poor start the Exiles have been more competitive lately, scoring three losing bonus points in their last five matches.

Their solitary victory came at home to Coventry last month.

Dangermen

Despite their struggles, Scottish have had four players named in the Championship Club Podcast Team of The Week.

Second row Ehize Ehizode and centre Javiah Pohe were recognised for their performances in the win against Coventry.

Full back Leo Fielding and second row/back row James Tyas were chosen for their performances against Ampthill and Cornish Pirates respectively.

Scrum half Dan Nutton is their leading try scorer so the Knights must be wary of tries being scored from Nutton darting from behind the set piece.

Verdict

Most onlookers would have had this down as a comfortable Doncaster win up to a few weeks ago.

But Scottish appear to have improved considerably. They recently secured a five-try win against Coventry and only lost by two points (17-19) to third-placed Cornish Pirates.

Fixtures

Cornish Pirates v Hartpury, Nottingham v Richmond, Coventry v Ampthill, Bedford Blues v Jersey Reds.