Doncaster Knights: It’s time to get tough: Griffiths

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CLIVE Griffiths insists the Knights must learn to dish out a few knockout blows if they are to have any chance of survival this season.

The Knights host Leeds Carnegie at Castle Park tomorrow (2.30pm) knowing victory is vital as they sit five points adrift at the foot of the Championship.

And Griffiths looked to the world of boxing to instruct his team to get tough with the opposition.

He said: “We’re good at standing toe-to-toe for good stretches.

“Our defensive work has been fantastic for a long time now and I’m not concerned with that.

“It’s what happens when we’re on the front foot that bothers me.

“We need to start softening the opposition up more, giving them the stiff body shots.

“And we need to make sure we land those knockout punches when we get the chance.”

Griffiths was left bemoaning his side’s lack of luck following the 31-18 defeat at Cornish Pirates last Sunday.

He said: “You get to the stage where you think it must be our turn this week – surely we’re going to have a bit of luck.

“But week after week, things just seem to go against us whether it’s the refereeing or the bounce of the ball.

“The conditions at the Pirates were horrendous and you just knew whoever got control of territory early in the second half would win.

“They did that and we just never had a look-in.

“It was gut-wrenching.”

The main aspect of the Knights’ attacking work that has concerned Griffiths is handling, which he feels has cost his side games.

But after seeing the performance against the Pirates, he is pleased with the improvement.

He said: “I’ve said several times that I’m not a miracle worker – there’s very little I can do sat in the stands.

“You put your faith in players to be able to catch a ball or make the right pass.

“Thankfully there’s been plenty of improvement on that front recently.”

Saturday’s visitors Leeds will be desperate for the win themselves as they chase down a place in the end of season promotion play offs.

Diccon Edwards’ side currently sit in fifth place, level on points with the fourth placed Pirates.

Leeds narrowly lost out 13-9 to runaway leaders Newcastle last weekend.

The Knights have announced that the March 9 clash with local rivals Rotherham Titans will be the club’s annual charity day.

Various events and attractions on the day will raise funds for Help for Heroes and The Yorkshire Regiment Benevolent Fund.