Doncaster Knights ran up their biggest points tally of the season when posting a 49-17 B&I Cup Pool Five win over Newport Gwent Dragons Premiership Select.
But the game, which saw Knights extend their lead at the top of the table, could have been much closer had it not been switched from Bedwas to a 3G pitch at Ystrad Mynach because of concerns over the weather.
“We went back to Bedwas for the post-match reception and the pitch was so heavy it would have been a different game,” said Knights’ boss Clive Griffiths. “The spectators certainly wouldn’t have seen the quality of rugby.”
Knights had trained on a similar pitch at the Keepmoat Stadium complex on Thursday in order to familiarise themselves with the surface upon hearing of Dragons’ decision.
“The heavy conditions when we played them at Castle Park a week earlier proved a great leveller and the closeness of the score probably helped boost their confidence that they could beat us,” said Griffiths.
“But on a fast pitch you could see the difference in pace between the two sides. We scored seven tries, and could have had a couple more ,and the pleasing thing was the variety of the tries.”
With just two games remaining, away to bottom club Connacht Eagles and home to Jersey early in 2016, Knights just need to beat the Channel Islanders to secure themselves a home draw in the quarter-finals.
“That’s the plan,” said Griffiths. “We’ve got a very proud record in this competition over the last 12 months or so and we haven’t lost a pool game in the last two seasons and we want that to continue.”