Bristol Rugby v Doncaster Knights: Griffiths’ men return to scene of club’s finest hour

Clive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths

Doncaster Knights and Bristol Rugby will cross swords for the first time since meeting in the 2015-16 Championship play-off final at Ashton Gate on Sunday (2pm).

Bristol, who went on to win promotion to the top flight, took the honours in the first-leg at Castle Park but the Knights beat them in the second in front of a sell-out crowd at Ashton Gate.

Clive Griffiths, who was in charge on what many supporters feel was the club’s finest hour, admits the stakes will be nowhere as high in the B&I Cup pool game though a second successive defeat would leave Knights facing an uphill battle to qualify for the knock-out stages.

“We know we’ve got a big job on our hands but a lot of the team who played in the play-off final are still here so the players know we can beat them down there, as we also did earlier that season in the league,” he said.

“We also beat them the last time we played them in the B&I Cup in the knockout stages at Castle Park the year before.

He added: “I’m looking for a really good performance and for us to ask questions of the opposition.

“A good show would put us in a positive frame of mind for our return to Championship rugby against Cornish Pirates.

“We’ve worked on getting more shape into our attack and being more clinical in training this week.”

Whereas the unbeaten home side have an embarrassment of talent at their disposal – including former Castle Park favourite Will Hurrell – Knights will again be lacking a number of key players as they look to bounce back from successive league and cup defeats.