Knights won’t give up without a fight

not 100 per cent: Knights skipper Chris Hallam has been playing through the pain barrier during the play-offs.
not 100 per cent: Knights skipper Chris Hallam has been playing through the pain barrier during the play-offs.

BRETT Davey has pledged the Knights will fight to the end despite their promotion play-off campaign suffering another blow at Nottingham.

The Knights travel to London Welsh on Saturday still looking for their first points in Pool A after a 30-3 defeat at Meadow Lane last weekend.

But Davey is refusing to throw in the towel and will freshen up his side this weekend in a bid to kick start their play-off push.

He said: “It was always going to be difficult for us in the play-offs but we’ve got an awful lot to do after losing the first two games, especially with London Welsh back to back next.

“But we’ll be working hard and won’t let it slide.

“There will be a few changes made at the weekend to give some of the lads an opportunity.

“It’s up to them to go out, work hard and put their hands up.

“I’m not too down on the players because I thought they worked hard at Nottingham.

“We’re just lacking the players in the right positions to do ourselves justice.

“But we’ll soldier on and avoid doing a disservice to what we’ve achieved this season.”

Three penalties from Nottingham’s James Arlidge separated the sides at the break.

With Chris Hallam sinbinned just before the break, the hosts scored their first try through Tom Streather.

Dougie Flockhart landed a penalty after Craig Hammond was yellow carded but that was to be the Knights’ only score of the afternoon.

And the game slipped away from them in a disastrous four minute spell which saw Michael Holford and Ayoola Erinlie go over.

Davey was pleased with the response from the horror show in the play-off opener against Bristol, particularly in the defensive performance.

But the Knights never really looked like crossing the whitewash, something the director of rugby attributed to a lack of quality in the set-piece.

He was also again left frustrated by the standard of refereeing but feels his hands are tied.

Davey said: “We defended really well in patches but you can’t ask players to defend for 80 minutes without the ball because something is bound to give at some point.

“We weren’t the better side but there were things going on out there that didn’t help.

“You can’t complain about referees because you get fined and you can’t address the situation with the referees because nothing gets done about it, so from a coaching point of view we’re lost.

“It’s horrific, the problem has been like this for a while and we’ve made our complaints through the right channels but the same things keep happening.”

Hallam recovered sufficiently from a neck problem to start the game but Davey revealed the Knights’ skipper is playing through injury.

Davey was positive over the health of his squad after the Nottingham game and expects to be able to call upon all those bar the long-term absentees this weekend.

Mike Whitehead has resigned from the Knights after less than a year with the club.