Doncaster Knights v Jersey Reds: Steve Boden wants Knights to be less ‘naive’

Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden believes his side have the ability to end Championship leaders Jersey Reds’ unbeaten start to the season – if they show less “naivety”.
Steve Boden. Photo: John Ashton (@ickledot)Steve Boden. Photo: John Ashton (@ickledot)
Steve Boden. Photo: John Ashton (@ickledot)

The Channel Islanders arrive at Castle Park today having won both their opening games, following up a 47-7 success at London Scottish with a 40-28 win over Bedford Blues.

In contrast, Doncaster fell 31-23 at Bedford last weekend, despite leading 17-11 at the break, and also lost their opener at Coventry before beating Scottish 36-7.

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Boden, who played with and coached at Jersey earlier in his career, said: “They are a big side, as they always are.

“They are powerful, direct and have a strong drive and set-piece game so giving them too much field position will hurt us.

“Our discipline, kicking game and set-piece is going to have to be on point for us to be able to play some attractive football at the right end of the field.

“They are two from two and top of the league at the moment for a reason. We’re up against it and we have to somehow find a way of getting over the line but we know we can.”

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Boden accepts Doncaster blew the chance of back-to-back wins last weekend but he was not disheartened. Far from it.

“It was a good performance; we played some really nice stuff,” he said.

“But we should have scored so many more points, There were at least 17 points we completely and utterly just left on the field. That’s not ifs and buts. Blatant.

“We have to take those opportunities. We were a bit naive.

“There were some big moments when we didn’t seize the opportunity and we have to be better at that.

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“But the blessing of it is we have a young squad with an average age of under 24 years old and we’re talking about naivety. It’s not structural or lack of effort.

“It was a massively improved performance and if we can improve on that again we’re going in the right direction with a new young squad which is what we’re about at the moment. That’s the main aim.”

Full-back Harry Davey gets his first competitive start for Doncaster, replacing Billy McBryde having impressed off the bench so far.

In the only other change to the starting XV, blindside Jack Davies is brought back in place of John Kelly who misses the clash.

Maliq Holden is recalled to the 23 and will hope to make his first competitive appearance.