Head coach Glen Kenworthy is hoping Doncaster Knights deliver a belated Christmas present to the club’s fans by winning Saturday’s televised Championship derby against Yorkshire Carnegie (2.15pm).
“We’d love to give something back to the supporters because they haven’t had much to cheer about this season,” he said.
But the straight-talking New Zealander readily admits that Knights, who lost their last four Pool 1 games in the Championship Cup, will go into the game as underdogs
“They’ll massively fancy their chances having beaten us twice in the cup – though we probably would have beaten them down here but for our discipline letting us down in the second half,” he said.
Kenworthy, who claims he has ‘copped a lot of flak’ this season following some below-par forward displays, says he knows what to expect from Carnegie in a game expected to attract the biggest gate for a league match at Castle Park so far this season.
“They don’t tend to play a lot of rugby off piste and I think they’ll probably play it tight and try and force us to give away penalties,” he said.
“They’ll certainly be looking to get into our red zone and then try and drive over.
“We’ve worked on that aspect of the game over the last few days but we’ve been hampered with injuries again – especially in the second-row where we’ve been struggling for a while.
“We could also be without a couple of other forwards who could face fitness tests.
“It’s going to be tough but we can beat them if we can get parity up front, which won’t be easy with the players we could have missing.
“Even then we would still have to defend better and control the ball better than we have been doing and not give away stupid penalties.”