Doncaster Knights: Ollie Stedman expecting a ‘tough battle’ against former club
Doncaster Knights back-rower Ollie Stedman is hoping to line up against his former club, Ealing Trailfinders, in Saturday’s testing Championship clash at Castle Park.
Stedman missed Saturday’s 18-6 defeat at third-placed Coventry after aggravating a previous injury in the build-up and was a doubt earlier in the week.
It has proved a frustrating start to the season for the strong-running Stedman who re-joined Knights from the big-spending London club this time last season.
Stedman proved one of the club’s form players in the second half of the campaign only to pick up a Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury during the run-in which resulted in him missing most of pre-season training.
He made his return to action with a try in the club’s final warm-up against Rams at Castle Park in late August and started in the club’s opening Championship Cup Pool 2 game against Hartpury three weeks later.
Steadman missed the next three games due to suspension but had made his presence felt on his return to action prior to pulling out of the Coventry game.
“They aren’t the same Coventry they were last season at home when you had to roll your sleeves up and they have looked quite sharp this season so we knew it would be a tough game,” he said.
“We had hoped to pick up a good result down there to help set us up for the Ealing game.
“Ealing have done well in recent years and I think, along with possibly Pirates, they’ll provide the biggest challenge to Newcastle.
“Just like everyone else they’ve got their limitations but they’ve also got some good players as well.
“I’m expecting it to be a tough battle up front because they’ve got a good pack but they’ve also got pace out wide.
“Obviously, we are still struggling with injuries but if we can play like we did against Bedford in our last home game, then we’ll give ourselves a chance to get back to winning ways in the league.”