Doncaster Knights: 'It was the biggest crowd and we let them down' Clive Griffiths concedes after Cornish Pirates defeat
Cornish Pirates sunk Doncaster Knights’ hopes of starting their 2019-20 Championship campaign with back-to-back wins when posting a 44-25 victory at Castle Park.
Although he felt the game was probably closer than the score line suggests – just six points separated to two sides at the start of the final quarter – director of rugby Clive Griffiths conceded the best team won.
“I can’t begin to tell you how floored I am at the moment,” said Griffiths. “It was the biggest crowd of the season and we let them down even though we played well at times.
“It did flatter them when they led 17-5 midway through the first half but you’ve got to tackle people – they ran through us at times whereas we’d defended well at Hartpury.
“They scored two of their tries from well-worked kicks which we’d not see them do before when reviewing their previous games.
“They must have seen that there was something on but there should have been somebody back there covering.
“We felt going into the game that we could win it, even though they had beaten Ealing 30-10 the week before.
“I certainly felt that at the least we could have had a couple of bonus points going into the final quarter.
“But we continued to give penalties away, two of which they converted to take the game further away from us, and it’s not acceptable because it’s something we drill into the players.
“Although I’m not looking to use it as an excuse, we were without Rory Pitman and Matt Challinor in the forwards and then we lost both Matt Smith with a neck injury and Ollie Stedman with a HIA injury and both will be out for the Jersey game on Friday.
“I’ll be looking to try and bring people in on loan this week.”