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Doncaster Knights: Griffiths ‘gutted’ by last gasp Pirates defeat

Clive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths

Doncaster Knights boss Clive Griffiths was still ‘gutted’ more than 24 hours after seeing his charges suffer their first defeat in five league and cup games against Cornish Pirates on Sunday.

Knights led throughout in the Championship game at the Mennaye Field only to see Pirates plunder the spoils with a last minute try.

“It was very tough to take because of the effort the boys put in,” said Griffiths, who was again critical of some of the decisions which went against his side

“They were absolutely magnificent on the day.

“I know it’s never over until, as they say, the fat lady sings, but it was a cruel way to finish a game that we had dominated for long periods of time.

“But you can’t control things that are not under your control. We had a late change of officials, which didn’t help, nor did the fact that the penalty count was 12-4 in Pirates’ favour.

“Tyson Lewis pulled out on the morning of the game due to a back spasm and we also lost two players in the first 14 minutes.

“Paul Jarvis suffered a hamstring injury – though the other leg to the one which caused him problems earlier in the season - and Ben Hunter picked up a knee injury.”

Both men are likely to miss the club’s next game on Saturday week against Richmond at Castle Park when they will be aiming to reclaim their top-four spot.

Although the pitch was very heavy following several days of snow and a rain shower shortly before kick-off, Griffiths didn’t look to blame the conditions.

He also said there had been no undue problems making the 300-mile plus trip to Penzance on Saturday despite much of the country’s road network being affected by the wintry weather.

Fly-half Declan Cusack, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was booked in for a knee reconstruction operation early this week. The Irishman suffered the injury within minutes of coming off the bench against Hartpury.