Hartpury v Doncaster Knights: Knights hope to secure Championship Cup last eight spot

Doncaster Knights will be looking to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Championship Cup in their final Pool 2 game at Hartpury on Saturday.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 3:30 pm
Clive Griffiths

Having seen Jersey secure the runners-up spot behind Newcastle at the weekend, Knights’ only lifeline is to secure the final best third-placed place up for grabs.

Although Knights go into the game with a three-point advantage over Ampthill, who entertain bottom club Bedford, they know they can’t afford to slip up.

Saturday’s game will be the third time that Knights, for whom back-rower Ollie Stedman will come into contention after several weeks on the sidelines, and Hartpury have met this season with the Castle Park side having won both previous encounters.

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“They’ve nothing to play for in terms of the competition so they could play with a lot of freedom but I’m sure that, like us, they will want to resume their league programme next week with a win under their belts,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths, who reports that several other players are back in training this week.

“We certainly want to get back to winning ways and we’ve set our sights on winning both our remaining games this year to give us some momentum going into 2020.

“We’ve lost our last four league and cup games but we’ve played well in recent games and the score against Newcastle didn’t reflect the game.

“The boys are happy with the way we have been playing and they’ll be looking to build on that on Saturday.

“We’ve played each other twice but as a season develops teams come up with new ideas so you can’t afford to be complacent.”

With Tongan international Kurt Morath, injured in the World Cup, having left the club by mutual consent recently, Griffiths is in talks with a Premiership club to bring in a fly-half on loan for the rest of the season.