Davey puts poor record in past as Knights plot play off success

PJ Gidlow in action against Bristol earlier in the season. Picture: Simon Hulme
PJ Gidlow in action against Bristol earlier in the season. Picture: Simon Hulme

THE Knights must not dwell on the past as the quest for success in the promotion play-offs begins, according to director of rugby Brett Davey.

Ending the regular season in eighth place has left the Knights in a play-off group with Nottingham, London Welsh and the Championship’s top side Brisol.

Davey’s men have lost every game they have played against the trio this season.

But he is confident his side can change their fortunes in the play-off stage which begins with the visit of Bristol next Friday night.

Davey said: “It’s a fact we can’t escape from but we can’t let it get us down either.

“We know what we’re capable of and what we can do when we’re on our game.

“We’ve had some fantastic results against some very good sides in this division this season and played some brilliant rugby at times.

“If we’d have been part of the other group we’d have been talking about how good a record we’ve had against those sides.

“But it is what it is and we’ll just go about our business.”

The Knights ended the regular season with a 37-14 defeat at London Welsh and a 52-26 loss at Bristol in the space of three days.

While Davey was disappointed with the outcome against Welsh, he was delighted with his side’s performance against Bristol.

He said: “Against London it was really disappointing because we just went off the cliff.

“We had a chance to do something in that game but we threw it away.

“That’s what made the performance against Bristol so pleasing.

“The final score doesn’t reflect the good things that we did out there.

“We were in it for a good 60 minutes and there were plenty of things to be pleased about.

“The lads could have easily thrown in the towel but there was a real determination to show what we’re capable of.

“It’s a boost for this next stage.”

Davey was also pleased to come through the hectic period of four games in nine days with much of his squad intact.

Dan Smith is the only player to have joined long term absentees David McIlwaine and Tom Luke in the treatment room but the lock is likely to return for the later games in the group stage.

Play off dates confirmed so far: Knights v Bristol, March 9 (7.45pm); London Welsh v Knights, March 24 (2.30pm); Knights v London Welsh, March 31 (2.30pm); Knights v Nottingham, April 14 (2.30pm); Bristol v Knights, April 21 (3pm).