Doncaster Knights: Tom James braced for intriguing contest on newly-laid 4G pitch at Coventry
Having helped Doncaster Knights see off the challenge of former club Bedford Blues last weekend, scrum-half Tom James is now fully focused on Saturday’s Championship game against Coventry at the Butts Park Arena.
But the half-back knows that Knights will face a Coventry team full of confidence after a thrilling 28-28 draw against last season’s runners-up Ealing Trailfinders last time out.
“They look to have recruited well and we are expecting a tough game but we are still pretty confident,” he said.
“It has traditionally been tough going over there when it has been wet and the pitch was heavy because of the way they played.
“But they have laid a new 4G pitch and are playing a more expansive game which will suit us, not least because we train on a similar pitch at Castle Park.”
Saturday’s result saw Coventry, who trailed 28-14 going into the final 20 minutes of the contest , join second-placed Cornish Pirates on 14 points.
Unbeaten since a defeat at Jersey on the opening day, Coventry (135) have scored more than double the number of points as Knights.
“We probably haven’t scored as many tries as we would have liked, but we are definitely a team which plays a lot of rugby,” argued James.
Much of that stems from the Sam Olver-James half-back partnership.
“We’ve struck up a good partnership when it comes to organising the team,” said James.
“He’s a No 10 with a lot of experience and he’s good to play alongside.
“We’ve obviously got a game-plan which is relatively structured but if either of us see something that we feel is on then the coaches have given us the freedom to try and capitalise.
“Cam Cowell’s return at full-back has taken some of the pressure off me because he’s also got pac e.
“But, we’ve also got other players throughout the side who can break the line.”