Doncaster Knights take stock after mixed start to season

Doncaster Knights are in the midst of a fortnight’s break so we took the chance to garner opinion on their start to the new Championship season.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 6:00 am
Knights captain Sam Graham in action against London Scottish. Photo: John Ashton (@ickledot)

Knights’ opening four games have produced two wins and two defeats.

Jamie Crawford caught up with a handful of fans from the ‘Knights of the Roundy Table’ supporters’ group to get their thoughts…

What have been your first impressions of Steve Boden’s new-look squad?

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The squad is very young and eager but unfortunately this also means they lack experience.

The youth that has been brought into the team have initially taken time to bond. However, after several games they will understand each other and have the potential to challenge the top teams.

We could do with a couple of experienced players to add a bit of maturity but, overall, the squad looks impressive and the results should soon start to reflect that.

A few club stalwarts left over the summer – who do you see as the leaders in this group?

Captain Sam Graham and co-captains Sam Olver and Billy McBryde are the main leaders.

The captaincy group provides a consensus of opinions and hopefully ensures that at least one of the captains is on the pitch.

Colin Quigley’s stability in the scrum is strongly missed, however.

Which players have particularly caught your eye so far this season and why?

Harry Davey, Jack David, Jack Davies, Sam Graham, Jack Spittle, Guido Volpi and Gus Warr have impressed by breaking tackles and through their spatial awareness and distribution of the ball.

Guido has been highlighted as one to watch for leadership and motivating the team.

Jack Davies injects fantastic enthusiasm into the team and endeavours to keep heads up even while we are flagging, while Jack Spittle’s work rate and commitment has to be commended.

What did you enjoy about the wins over London Scottish and Jersey?

London Scottish was a game that we should have won and hopefully it put a marker down that Castle Park is a fortress.

The win over Jersey demonstrated areas that were worked on by Steve Boden and was won through grit and determination which was pleasing to see.

Do you think Knights can equal or better last season’s third place finish?

Boden himself has said we aren’t specifically looking at the league table and it’s more about building going forward.

The expectation is probably to finish in the top half of the table but not as high as third.

Last season the Knights had a few fortunate results. Additionally, they had a new director of rugby whereas now teams are more wary and know what to expect to a certain degree.

At the moment only two points separate the top nine teams so who knows!

Opinions of Jamie Crawford, Arthur Leach, John Lynch, Tony Houlihan, Mundiz and Mike.