Doncaster Knights: Challinor confident history won’t repeat itself against Cornish Pirates

Matt Challinor
Matt Challinor

Doncaster Knghts will be aiming to get back to winning ways in the Championship on Sunday when they take on Cornish Pirates live on Sky Sports.

Pirates have won only once in the league this season, but will go into the game on the back of successive B&I Cup victories.

“I'm confident that we can beat them, especially at Castle Park,” said long-serving second-rower Matt Challinor.

“I just hope that history doesn't repeat itself.”

One of only a couple of forwards who started the game still at the club, Challinor was referring to last season when Pirates plundered the spoils after sinking Knights 35-26 in front of the Sky cameras almost 12 months ago.

“For a number of years Pirates had been a bit of a bogey team for us but we looked to have put the record straight prior to last season,” said the former Doncaster captain.

“Hopefully we have laid that bogey and last season was just a one-off.

“It was certainly one of our most disappointing performances of the campaign – particularly at Castle Park where we had been unbeaten prior to that game.

“We pride ourselves on being hard to beat at Castle Park and we were very disappointed to lose the way we did in our last home game against Leinster A in the B&I Cup.

“To be fair they played really well and are one of the best teams we've played this season, but we were disappointed we couldn't impose ourselves more on the game.”

He added: “We knew it was important that we got some momentum back in Sunday’s second B&I Cup game at Bristol going into the Pirates game.

“To win down there was a great result and one which will give us a lot of confidence for the league game at Castle Park in December.

“Performance is the key going into any game for us because we know that if we perform to our best then we are going to be in contention no matter who were are up against.

“We know we are going to have to play well against Pirates to get a result.

“They brought in a new coaching team last season and whilst adding some new players during the summer they’ve kept the nucleus of the side which did well and that consistency is very important at Championship level.”