Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths insists his side proved their title credentials on Saturday after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Tynedale.
The home side looked to have done enough to cause an upset and led 26-24 going into the dying embers of the match.
However, a dramatic late siege saw Doncaster get over the line to secure their fourth consecutive win and keep them top of the pile in SSE National One.
And after the match Griffiths praised his side’s ability to come from behind and keep their title hopes alive.
“If you want to win the championship then those are the types of games you need to win,” said Griffiths.
“If we do go on to win the league then we will look back at that match as being crucial.
“They started better than us and exploited our weaknesses and on a pitch that was as heavy as that it took some real soul searching to win.
“The boys showed their never-say-die attitude and real character.”
Tynedale started the match well and took the lead in the ninth minute after a Ben Frankland try.
The centre added another try before the break to give his side a 19-11 lead at the half-way point.
However, Doncaster refused to roll over and in the second half scored 13 unanswered points to take the lead.
The surge began with two Dougie Flockhart penalties and was followed by a converted Mat Clark try.
But Tynedale responded and a penalty try with four minutes to go meant Doncaster looked destined for defeat.
But Griffiths’ side showed their big-match bottle and a last-gasp try from Matt Challinor was enough to secure victory for 13-man Doncaster.
Griffiths was buoyed by the result and revealed that some stern half-time words reinvigorated his team.
He said: “At half-time I just asked them if they wanted to give up everything they’ve worked for in the next 40 minutes.
“To win that match with 13 men against 15 in the manner that we did was fantastic.
“To concede a penalty try with four minutes to go and then to go down the other end and win it just shows what we can do.
“The way we played in the second half was brilliant.
“The pitch was atrocious, it was an absolute mud bath but we still managed to play some really good stuff.
“We were far from perfect though and sometimes we played straight into their hands.
Some of the things were out of our control but the things we could control we did really well with.
“We’ve come back from adversity and the boys know they can do it so we need to see more of that.”
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