Doncaster Knights 36 Henley Hawks 10: A tale of two halves for table-toppers Knights

Doncaster Knights' Michael Hills drives on against Henley. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Knights' Michael Hills drives on against Henley. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths admitted his side put in their worst performance of the season against Henley Hawks but could at least take heart from the way his league leaders rallied after the break.

After a below-par first half which saw them outscored by two tries to one, Doncaster found themselves trailing 10-7 at the break against their resolute SSE National League One opponents.

But after strong words in the changing room, they were firing on all cylinders from the restart, running in five unanswered tries from Tyson Lewis, David Clark (2), Glen Bryce and Douglas Flockhart for a 36-10 win.

But despite the comeback Griffiths insisted his side had not been their usual selves.

“A win is a win but I thought we were very poor,” he said.

“Our handling and our finishing were poor and it all added up to a lot of frustration, but we’ve come through with a win in what was our poorest performance of the season.

“We knew the conditions would be difficult but we didn’t play smart with the wind behind us, we talked about it but didn’t take it on board.

“All credit to Henley for taking the game to us and having the lead at half time. They are a well organised set up and have deserved more this season.

“We had stern words at the break and came out and dominated and scored five tries to nil.

“The positives are we have five points, in the second half we won 29-0 and defended well but with the ball going forward you have to say that was our worst showing so far.”

The visitors made the early running, rewarded with Daniel Wells’ penalty on three minutes before Ross Davies’ try, converted by Flockhart, put the Knights in front.

But Edward Yarnton’s converted score ensured the hosts entered the break down, leaving them well aware that an improvement was in order.

And it came almost immediately through Lewis on 42 minutes before the Knights maintained the pressure with Clark’s double either side of the hour and late scores from Bryce and Flockhart confirming victory.

Knights maintained their position at the top of the table, but Griffiths knows there is still more to come from his team, particularly with the season run in fast approaching.

“If we put it all together one day someone is going to cop it,” he added.

“And I hope it’s going to be in the next two months because we’ve got a huge run in with eight games to go and 40 points to play for.”

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