Coach Clive Griffiths happy with pre-season as Doncaster Knights head for big kick-off

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths
Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths

Doncaster Knights avenged their only pre-season defeat, beating a Newcastle Falcons XV 35-26 in their final warm-up game at Castle Park.

“It was good to end on a win but I wouldn’t have bothered had we lost all four games providing that we beat Jersey in our first Championship game of the season this Saturday,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

Knights found tries easier to come by than they had when being beaten by a stronger Newcastle side at Kingston Park a fortnight earlier, but Griffiths admitted there were still things to work on in training this week prior to the trip to St Peter.

“We scored some beautiful tries – and could have scored more,” said the Welshman.

“The big negative was our defence. As a former (international) defence coach I wasn’t happy with the the fact that they scored four tries. They broke our line too easily at times.

“We knew what they would do if we let them and we prepared for that. Although I was pleased with our scrambling defence, we’ve got work to do.”

“Having said all that it was a good hit-out and I’m glad we played it.

“I’m happy with the way the pre-season games have gone and the fact that all the players, apart from those carrying injuries, have all had a lot of minutes.

“Paul Jarvis only played 35 minutes but that was all we had planned. He proved his fitness after a hamstring strain ahead of the Jersey game.

“Ben Hunter and Will Owen both played their first game of pre-season and Richard List made his first start and they all came through okay.

“There were some good performances out there and there’ll be some tough decisions to make when it comes to selection.”