Doncaster Knights: Griffiths looks to bolster injury hit squad

Doncaster got back into the match with this first half try
Doncaster got back into the match with this first half try

Clive Griffiths will scour the loan market this week in an attempt to bolster his injury-hit Doncaster Knights squad.

The Welshman saw his side maintain their perfect start in National One by squeezing past an expansive Fylde outfit in a hard-fought 29-24 victory at Castle Park on Saturday.

But Knights’ fifth straight bonus point win came at a cost as Jack Cosgrove (back), Dougie Flockhart (shoulder) and Chris Hallam (shoulder) were all added to the club’s growing injury list.

“Jack’s done his back, Dougie’s popped his AC joint and will be out for a considerable amount of time, and Chris will have to be reassessed,” said Griffiths.

“We can cover those positions but we’re rapidly running out of troops.

“The injury list is growing but hopefully we can keep on winning.

“I’ll be on the phone this week begging for loan players and if they’re available, we’ll sign them up,” added.

“Injuries are part and parcel of the game. That’s the hand you’re dealt in rugby and you’ve just got to get on with it.”

Fylde’s Namibian international Ryan De le Harpe and winger Oliver Brennand both touched down as the visitors made their early dominance count.

It took until the half hour mark for Knights to put any serious pressure on Fylde’s defensive line and their first real push for the try line resulted in a score for Flockhart, laid on by debutant Paul Eti-Slater.

Flockhart then reduced the deficit to two points with a penalty in first half stoppage time as Doncaster wrestled their way back into the contest.

And the hosts took their momentum into the second half as tries from Roberto Santamaria and Phil Eggleshaw, both converted by Flockhart, gave Griffiths’ men a 22-10 lead.

Doncaster looked like they might run away with it, but Fylde refused to buckle and responded with a converted try of their own from Chris Johnson.

Substitute Bruno Bravo nipped in to score in the corner, with man of the match Flockhart again adding the extras.

Fylde still weren’t finished though and Joe Robinson forced his way over the line to set up a tense finale.

“It was an arm wrestle and we came through it,” said Griffiths.

“That was the big thing.

“If anyone was under the illusion that Fylde were going to come here and not be confident about winning, they’d be mistaken. They’re a well established club and they played some great rugby. We knew it’d be a battle.

“We had the opportunities to make life easier for ourselves and we didn’t take them.

“But for sheer guts and determination you’ve got to be pleased.

“That’s five wins from five and we’re still top of the league.”

Knights: Cosgrove (Bergmanas 74), Santamaria, Phillips, Challinor, Walker-Fitton (Kenworthy 58), Jones, Hills, Eggleshaw, Hallam (Bravo 40), Roberts (Barker 69), Lewis, Armitage, Eti Slater, Flockhart (Tamanis 79), Jarvis.

Attendance: 1,004