League is priority - Howells

LYNN Howells will see a few familiar faces this weekend when his former club Pontypridd visit Castle Park in the British & Irish Cup.

But the former Wales boss is not losing sight of the Knights’ main objective - to get into the Championship promotion play-offs.

Doncaster must beat the Welsh Premiership leaders on Saturday (2.30pm) if they are to have any chance of repeating last season’s run to the B&I semi-finals.

But while Howells would welcome a cup run he says the Knights’ priorities lie elsewhere.

Howells said: “We’d love to reach the semi-finals again and we’ll be going all out for the win this weekend.

“But we’ve said right from the start of the season that our main aim is to get into the top eight in the Championship.

“We’ve shown that on our day we can be a match for anyone in the division.

“And if we can get into the promotion play-offs there’s no reason why we can’t give it a good go and maybe spring a surprise or two.

“Saturday is a good opportunity to give some of the lads who’ve been out injured a bit of game time - the likes of Ed Jackson, Neil Cochrane, Andy Gates and Dan Frazier should all be back.

“It’s also a good game for me personally,” he added.

“I’ve got a lot of good friends at Pontypridd and their supporters have always been good to me.

“I had some successful times there and it’ll be nice to catch up with a few people.

“They’re a top side - they’re flying high at the top of the Premiership - and it’ll be a good test for us.”

Knights ended a four-game losing run with a 27-6 B&I Cup victory against Welsh side Llandovery on Saturday.

First half tries from PJ Gidlow and Zack Farivarz, both converted by Tristan Roberts, gave Doncaster a foothold in the game.

Roberts kicked two penalties to increase the deficit and, although the Doncaster pack dominated in the atrocious weather conditions, it wasn’t until stoppage time until Gidlow added try number three from close range.

Howells said: “I was pleased with the performance and it was important we got the show on the road again after four successive defeats.

“Young Jacob Rowan [dually registered with Leeds] came in and played well and it was good to see Paul Devlin back on the field after his injury problems.”

Knights are still to face Rotherham and Ayr in the initial group stage of the B&I Cup.

Defeat this weekend however, against a Pontypridd side who have won three out of three in the competition, would make it impossible for the Knights to reach the last four.