Doncaster Knights endured what Clive Griffiths described as a ‘journey from Hell’ on their way back from Plymouth on Saturday night.
But the club’s director of rugby said the lengthy diversions failed to dampen the spirit on the team coach following their hard-earned 19-16 Championship win over relegated Albion in their last game of the season.
“It certainly would have been an even worse journey home had we lost,” he said yesterday.
That looked to be a distinct possibility at the break as Knights trailed 11-5 following a poor first half display.
“They were determined to go out on a winning note and they came out all guns blazing and we weren’t at our best,” he said.
“I tried to rev things because it was a sullen changing room at half-time and I told the players that we couldn’t finish the season on such a poor note.
“The players responded to my ‘wake-up call’ and we scored two tries in the first ten minutes of the second half to lead 19-11 and from that point on we dominated until a missed tackle by Ume Fosita late on let them in for a try/
“It was nervy then for the remaining minutes and we had to dig deep and defend well. I think the last five minutes showed what this team has been all about..
“Thankfully we held on because it would have been devastating to lose despite being save from relegation.”
Knights went into the game knowing a victory at Brickfields and defeat for Jersey at home to Moseley would see them finish eighth.
But Griffiths knew their chance had gone when learning of Jersey’s 33-0 interval lead – news he kept from the players during half-time.