Doncaster Knights will go into their opening Championship game of the season at Cornish Pirates this weekend on the back of a heavy defeat.
Knights lost their way in the second half of Saturday’s game against a Newcastle Falcons XV at Castle Park and ended up on the wrong end of a 47-26 score-line.
To add to director of rugby Clive Griffiths’ disappointment full-back Paul Jarvis joined No 8 Josh Tyrell and centre Will Owen, both recovering from surgery, on the sidelines after picking up another hamstring injury.
“We are missing Josh Tyrell big time, as is the case with Will Owen, and I just hope we can have (Sale’s) Curtis Langdon next week or we could be down to just one hooker,” said the Welshman.
Reflecting on the encounter, Griffiths said: “It was a game of two halves and we were 14-0 up in the first and coasting.”
Although still feeling that there was room for improvement in a half which ended 19-all, the Welshman was certainly much happier than with the second 40 minutes.
“We were very disappointed with the individual errors and some of the decisions made by players who have played themselves out of the team (to play Pirates) as a result,” he said.
“It was not the second half that I wanted in readiness for next week but in terms of one big issue, which was selection, it has answered a lot of questions but unfortunately it has raised a few questions in other areas as well.
“As I say, I was very disappointed with the second half. We made changes at half time but the players we had on the field were good enough to continue the work in the first half but it didn’t happen and at times we were making embarrassing errors and decisions with the football.
“All credit to Newcastle for the way that they defended in the second half but the first collisions by the fresh players at the start of the second half were unacceptable and could cost them their place.
“But look, there are positives. Steve McColl has been outstanding in the games we’ve played as have players such as Morgan Eames and those boys have put their hands up.”